Adelaide: There was a striking resemblance in the morning session of Day Two and Day Four. Both Australia and India batting line-ups had carved out similar scores on previous days. Australia had finished Day One on 354-6 and India 369-5. Both teams had picked up valuable wickets on the previous evening, India picking up three wickets for nine runs and Australia picking up the important wicket of Virat Kohli for 115.
On Thursday, Pujara had stated, “The first session will be so important tomorrow” while on Day One Karn Sharma had said “if we can take two or three wickets early in the morning session then we are back in the game.”
Crucial morning session
Unfortunately, India lost both of those sessions. The Indian bowlers began the crucial first half an hour on Day Two by conceding five boundaries as Michael Clarke and Steve Smith added 28 runs to seize back the initiative. It took the Indian batsmen over 30 minutes to score a boundary on Day Four, as the Australians bowled with great discipline to tighten the noose around the Indian batsmen. Wriddhiman Saha and Rohit Sharma only managed to add 10 runs in the first seven overs.
Current and past captains always discuss their team’s abilities to win critical contests. There were two of them in this Test match and Australia had won them both. It was a perfect example of one team surging ahead when the Test match hung in the balance.
India captain Virat Kohli would have been amongst the first to realise that his team had lost the two most crucial sessions and in effect, it led to him been involved in heated verbal stoushes with the opposition. In reality, the frustration had boiled over, Kohli had realised despite his brilliant ton on Day Three, India were still a long way behind the game.
“To be competitive against Australia, we need to play it session by session and not look too far ahead” said Kohli, at the pre-Test press conference. He will be the first to admit India had lost the two most crucial sessions in the Test match.