Kotla Test: Australia spun into Indian spinners' web
The story of Australia's tour of India 2013 has not changed ever since the first Test match at Chennai till the end of first days play today at Kotla, Delhi. They have once again fallen prey to the Indian spinners namely Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja who took four and two Aussie wickets respectively.
Australia's score at the end of days play read 231 for the loss of eight wickets. The Australian team got off to the worst possible start with the dismissal of David Warner with the team score reading only 4 runs. Ishant Sharma took the important wicket of Warner. Once again, like in the previous Test matches, the Aussie batsmen started off on a good note only to be dismissed when they started to look good to score some more runs. The Australian casualty in this regard were – Ed Cowan, (38 runs) Mark Hughes (45) and Steve Smith (46).
It is very essential for players to convert such starts into good scores, especially under sub-continental conditions. It is during the initial phase, where they need to do all the hard work after which they can score runs easily after getting their eye in. None of the Aussie batsmen were able to do so. The closest who came to building a good innings was Smith who looked in good touch before getting dismissed by Ashwin. The Indian spinner has tormented the Aussie batsmen throughout the tour. Another settled batsmen, ED Cowan's wicket was also taken by Ashwin.
Out of the eight wickets that fell today, six of those were picked up by Indian spinners, which clearly establishes India's spin bowling dominance over the Australian batsmen. The Australians are not habituated in playing under such spin conditions. But one needs to give credit where it is due. The Indian bowlers also came up with a brilliant bowling display to take wickets at regular intervals. Though Pragyan Ojha was wicketkless, he did come close to taking an Aussie wicket, but was unlucky not to be successful.
But the Australians fought back in the game with a good partnership of more than 40 runs between Peter Siddle and James Pattisnson, when the Australians looked down and out. Both the batsmen are on the crease and would like to take Australia closer to the 270-280 runs mark, when they come to bat tomorrow morning. In fact, it was Peter Siddle who showed the top order how to handle the Indian spinners.
It is very important for the Aussies to score as much runs as possible in the morning tomorrow, which will help them inch closer to a respectable score. Whereas the Indians would be trying to clean the Australian tail as quickly as possible – so as to put up a huge first innings score and put pressure on the Australians in the second innings, the spinners will play a crucial role in the Kotla pitch, which will gradually deteriorate.