A score of 161 all out and then letting Australia make 149 for no loss. It was difficult to imagine what was worse - India's batting or bowling on the opening day of the Perth Test yesterday.
On Fire: Ben Hilfenhaus
It all pointed to the worst opening day one could remember for India. I wondered if this could be measured, so I looked at opening days where India had spent time both batting and bowling, and compared averages.
Sure enough, there was nothing to really compare with a batting average of 16.1 (161 all out) and a bowling average of 149+ (149/0). There have been a few days where a big Indian collapse has been followed by opposing batsmen running amok such as...
>> The Lucknow Test against Pakistan in 1952-53 when India were all out for 106 and Pakistan made 46 without losing any wicket.
>> At Leeds in 1959, India managed just 161 and England replied with 61 for no loss.
>> At Bridgetown in 1975-76, India made 177 and West Indies ended with 97 for one.
>> At Lord's in 1979, India were bowled out for 96 before England ended the day with 53 for one.
All the above instances were indeed bad, but compare with the disaster in Perth. The two comparisons I could find were the first day at Manchester in 1936, where India were bowled out for 203 and England then ended with 173/2.
More recently at Ahmedabad in 2007-08, the Dale Steyn-led South African attack finished India off in 20 overs for a paltry 76 and then Jacques Kallis and AB De Villiers took South Africa to
223 for four.