A day that started with the Test match beautifully poised and India harboring hopes of doing what no other team has ever done: Beat Australia in a pink-ball Test, the duo of Josh Hazlewood and Pat Cummins not only crushed their hopes with absolute disdain, but they also ensured that India fell to the lowest point in their Test match batting history.
From becoming the first-ever team to deny Australia a first-innings lead in a pink-ball Test to registering the fifth-lowest total [and their lowest score] in Test history, India’s journey from zenith to nadir was complete within a span of one horror session, once again exposing their batsmen’s inability to counter the moving ball.
But, was that the only reason behind India losing the opening Test?
Here’s a look at four reasons why India failed to repeat an encore of 2018 at the Adelaide Oval:
Now, you can turn around and say, ‘Oh aren’t you a bit harsh? Run-out happen and despite that India was still in a good position to win the Test match’
And, yeah, it will be unfair to pinpoint the entire blame of the defeat to Ajinkya Rahane’s rare ‘brain-fade’ during which he sold his skipper Virat Kohli down the river, it still played a massive role in what eventually happened two days later.
First of all, let’s understand the context of the situation when THAT run-out took place. After having patiently negotiated the Australian attack for a better part of the first 2 sessions, the pair of Virat Kohli and Ajinkya Rahane had finally begun to take control of the proceedings via an 88-run-stand in the evening session.
Virat Kohli was in the midst of a chanceless knock and was looking prime for another hundred at the Adelaide Oval. What’s even more crucial was the fact that the new pink cherry was just around the corner. With India boasting of a long tail, the visitors needed the duo to be there at the time of the new ball.
Virat Kohli RUN OUT!!
That's only the second time in Test cricket that Virat Kohli's been run out!
— S Ṽaḯbḥaṿ?? (@_therealvaibhav) December 17, 2020
And, then tragedy struck on the last delivery of the 77th over. Rahane drove the ball to short mid-off, invited Virat for a quick single, Virat obliged by sprinting to the middle of the pitch before Rahane changed his mind. Virat had nowhere to go and for once Nathan Lyon safely gobbled the ball to affect an easy run-out.
Rahane was never the same after that run-out and that was displayed to the hilt when he failed to move his feat on a fullish length delivery by Mitchell Starc. He was trapped plumb in front and the slide started. 4-188 became 5-196 and then 6-206 with Hanuma Vihari falling in quick succession against the new pink ball.
Wriddhiman Saha and Ravichandran Ashwin rekindle some hopes of a lower-order fightback but once Saha fell on the second afternoon, India lost their last four wickets for 11 runs to eventually get dismissed for 244.
Runs added after the fall of 5th wkt by India in Tests this year
Wellington, 1st inngs: 64 (101/5-164)
Wellington, 2nd inngs: 43 (148/5-191)
Christchurch, 1st inngs: 48 (194/5-242)
Christchurch, 2nd inngs: 40 (84/5-124)
Adelaide, 1st inngs: 48 (196/5-244)#AUSvIND https://t.co/0EFAA5orKq
— Deepu Narayanan (@deeputalks) December 18, 2020