The events of the third day of Pink Ball Test between Australia and India may take some time to sink in, even for the neutrals. India, resuming the day with an upper-edge over the host side, imploded drastically to concede a 8-wicket loss in Adelaide.
The side was 9/1 in six overs, with a lead of 62 runs when Mayank Agarwal and nightwatchman Jasprit Bumrah took the crease to continue the Indian innings. The morales were high after the side bowled Australia out on 191, taking a 53-run lead in the first innings. However, it took only 92 deliveries — 15.2 overs, to be precise, for the Australian bowlers to wrap-up the innings on a meagre total of 36.
Mohammed Shami was struck from a short-pitched delivery off Pat Cummins and failed to continue his innings as India finished on 36/9, with Shami being declared retired out. This has worsened India’s already deepened crisis, as the side will be without Virat Kohli for the remainder of the series. The Indian captain will return to the country to attend the birth of his first child.
At one stage, India were reduced to 26 for 8 and looked like equalling the lowest ever Test score (26 by New Zealand) but Hanuma Vihari’s boundary helped them evade entry into the dark pages of cricketing history.
On the day, the Indian batting was completely exposed by the extra bounce generated by Australian pacers, who bowled every delivery on the off-middle channel after landing on the seam.
In an inexplicable collapse, India’s much vaunted batsmen fell like nine pins with not a single one able to reach double figures. This was the lowest-ever Test score on Australian soil, as well as the worst team total in a Day/Night Test.
All the deliveries were almost identical, angled in, which forced the batsmen to jab at them and just bounced a wee bit more. They deviated a shade taking outside edges to Tim Paine behind the stumps.
Australia were further boosted with Joe Burns’ confident innings in the 90-run chase, as he remained unbeaten on 51*, while Matthew Wade, too, played a valuable 33-run knock to guide Australia to a 8-wicket victory in Adelaide.
With this win, Australia keep their winning streak intact in the Day/Night Tests, making it 8 wins in as many matches. The side has now taken a 1-0 lead in the four-match series. The action will return at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on December 26, when both the sides take part in the Boxing Day Test.
India: 244 (Kohli 74, Starc 4/53)
Australia: 191 (Paine 73*, Ashwin 4/55)
India: 36 (Agarwal 9, Hazlewood 5/8)
Australia: 93/2 (Burns 51*)