Adelaide Test: Australian batsman feel Indian pace attacks effect

Dec 08, 2018, 09:00 IST | Gaurav Joshi

Ishant, Bumrah and Shami tie down batsmen as hosts end Day Two on 191-7

Adelaide Test: Australian batsman feel Indian pace attacks effect
Ishant Sharma (left) celebrates with teammates after dismissing Australia's Aaron Finch on Day Two of the first Test at Adelaide Oval. Pic/AFP

It is halfway through the middle session on Day Two. The mercury is nearly touching 40 degrees. Usman Khawaja and Peter Handscomb are building a resilient partnership. Wicketkeeper Rishabh Pant can be heard over the stump mic saying, "not everyone can be Pujara here". It is a slight jab at the Australian batsmen but underlines how well India have bowled throughout the day.

After being bowled out for 250 in the first innings, Australia ended Day Two on 191-7 with Travis Head unbeaten on 61. But it is Australia's miserly run rate of 2.17 throughout the day that highlights the control of the Indian bowling unit. On previous outings to Australia, the Indian fast bowlers had strived for wickets and looked to bowl attacking lengths. But on Day Two yesterday, they hit the good length on a consistent basis and waited for the batsmen to make mistakes.

It was a master plan that proved to be fruitful. Aaron Finch was knocked over in the first over by Ishant Sharma for a duck. Just when debutant Marcus Harris and Khawaja started to looked comfortable, Ashwin dislodged Harris by having him caught at silly point for 28. In the second session, India only conceded 55 runs in 28 overs. A lot of credit must go the way the fast bowlers continuously stuck to a fifth-stump line by hitting a good length. It was a pivotal period as the Kookaburra ball had lost its shine and hardness. From the 20th over to the 70th, India bowled 16 maidens and applied the brakes on the Australian batsmen.

India's constant pressure led to Shaun Marsh attempting a wild drive. He dragged one on to the stumps. Handscomb glided a ball on the fifth stump channel straight to the wicketkeeper for 33 and skipper Tim Paine edged one to the 'keeper as the hosts slumped to 127-6. The only time Australia managed to break the shackles slightly was during a 50-run stand for the sixth wicket between Head and Pat Cummins. But as stumps approached, India took the second new ball and Jasprit Bumrah hit the right length to see Cummins shouldering arms for 10.

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