As India gear up to bounce back in Melbourne after the humiliating defeat in the first Test against Australia, former batsman Mike Hussey has said he is hoping for a response from the visitors. In one of the worst performances in the history of Indian cricket, Virat Kohli & Co. were all out for a paltry 36, India’s lowest Test total.
The previous lowest was 42 that India scored way back in 1974 against England. The humiliating collapse meant India threw away the advantage it had in the first innings that saw them take a handy 53-run lead. Set a modest total of 90 runs, Australia chased it down without much problem to take the lead in the four-maatch series.
India will be desperate to put up a better show in the second Test, scheduled to be played at the MCG from December 26. And ahead of the game, Mike Hussey has said that it would be a test of mental strength for the Indian batsmen. The legendary batsman said that India embarrassed themselves in the Adelaide Test, but now is the time to take the sting and convert it into a performance that hopes to bring them back into the series.
“It’s really going to test the mental strength of the Indian batsmen in my opinion. I think the Melbourne pitch will suit them a little bit more so they can take some confidence from that. I hope to see a response because they’ll be embarrassed by that – getting bowled out for 36. I was in a team when we were bowled out for 47 and it was embarrassing. You’d want to put up a better performance next up. But I think there will be some psychological blows there,” Mike Hussey said on ESPNCricinfo.
Things, however, won’t be any easier for the visitors as they will be without their skipper Virat Kohli and pace star Mohammed Shami. Kohli will miss the rest of the series to be at the birth of his child while Shami is out of the series with a fractured hand. Mike Hussey said that missing the duo ‘is a hammer blow’ for the tourists.
“It’s a bit of a hammer blow. The last time India were here, they’d won the first Test match and it just really game them a lot of belief and confidence that they could win here in Australia. Suddenly they go 0-1 down, their captain heads home. Mohammed Shami being hit on the arm – now we’re not sure how bad that is – he’s one of the best bowlers in the Indian camp. I think the confidence would have really taken a hit and there’ll be a few doubts in mind,” Mike Hussey said.