Rash and Reckless
Apart from Pujara, the rest of India's top-order failed to restrain their attacking instincts and perished to audacious drives on Day One
Pat Cummins is steaming in from the Riverbank End, there are three slips waiting for the edge. India are 66 for 4 and he releases a 143kmph thunderbolt to Rohit Sharma. The Indian No. 6, judges the length immediately, pauses for a split second and sends the ball flat and hard to the cover boundary. It is an audacious shot that receives plenty of praise.
Few overs later, Rohit perishes to a wild slog, a ball after depositing Nathan Lyon into the stands. It is an ill-mannered shot and one that sums up India's batting woes on the opening day of the first Test at Adelaide yesterday. Apart from Cheteshwar Pujara's masterclass, the rest of the Indian top-order fell to ungainly shots as each of them failed to restrain their attacking instincts. Attempting booming drives in the first session on a first morning of a Test on a pitch that assisted fast bowlers was brazen. India were trying to dominate the opposition without assessing the conditions.
On the eve of the Test match, Virat Kohli had harped on how he wanted his team to express themselves and be positive from the outset. "We are not looking to start tentatively. We all want to express ourselves, go out there and be positive. [I] don't mean that we are going to play rash shots and we are going to be all over the place with the ball, but it's just in our heads, wanting to bring our 'A' game in the first match itself and then try lay a good foundation for us and capitalise on that as the series goes on," said Kohli. Going by Kohli's statement, it was evident that India were desperate to begin the series on the right note, but for the top-order to succumb to reckless strokeplay in the first hour was disappointing.
KL Rahul tried a square drive with his weight still firm on the back foot. Murali Vijay was so conscious of the short ball that the moment he saw the ball pitched up, he drove loosely. Even the great Kohli chased a wide and full ball too early in the innings. Rahane, who looked secured at the crease, was another to throw his hands widely outside his body. At 41 for 4, it could have been catastrophic, but luckily for India, Pujara could control his mind and picked the right balls to hit.
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