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3rd Test: Did India miss a trick by batting first in Indore? | Cricket News – Times of India


NEW DELHI: Win the toss and bat first. That usually has been the norm in India for Test cricket by and large. To make the best use of the conditions is every captain’s first thought process as the pitches are reputed to deteriorate drastically as the match progresses.
Win the toss and bat first. That’s exactly what India captain Rohit Sharma did in the third Test against Australia in Indore, with two changes in the playing XI as Shubman Gill replaced KL Rahul and pacer Mohammed Shami was rested to bring in Umesh Yadav. Australia also made two changes with Cameron Green and Mitchell Starc making a comeback.

3rd Test: KL Rahul dropped from India XI

3rd Test: KL Rahul dropped from India XI

In the first two Tests of the series – in Nagpur and in Delhi, the Aussies won the toss and elected to bat first.
But after seeing what has happened so far at the Holkar stadium, the one question that is being asked is – If such prodigious turn was expected, would it not have been a better idea to bowl first, given that India have quality spinners like R Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja and Axar Patel in their ranks?
Even if the bounce and sharp very early turn did surprise the home team, would it not have been better to put this Aussie team under pressure early by subjecting them to something they are just not that good at -playing quality spin, and that too early in a Test that could well seal the fate of the series?
Of course, given what we have seen, chances are the Aussies are going to perhaps struggle much more than the Indian batters and the hosts could snatch the momentum and the edge back.

Indian batsmen are reputed to be good players of quality spin. But the Holkar Stadium pitch bamboozled one and all. It had bite, turn, and enough uneven bounce to flummox the Indian batsmen.
Rohit was beaten more than a couple of times by Aussie pace spearhead Mitchell Starc, who was plain unlucky to not get the Indian captain’s scalp.
Stand-in captain Steve Smith unleashed the Aussie spin troika of Nathan Lyon, Matthew Kunhemann and Todd Murphy early on Day 1 and the result was an Indian innings that lay in tatters.
Australia stand-in captain Steve Smith introduced spin after 5 overs and Matthew Kuhnemann, playing just his second Test struck in his first over. Kept quiet by Starc, Rohit (12) looked to break the shackles and charged down the pitch. But the ball beat him in the air, turned away to miss his swinging bat and he was stumped by Alex Carey.
Gill (21) looked composed in his brief stay at the wicket but Kuhnemann struck again in his next over and had him caught by Smith at first slip.

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(AP Photo)
Nathan Lyon then came into the attack from the other end and struck off his second delivery via a delivery that stayed low and turned sharply in from outside off-stump to castle Cheteshwar Pujara (1).
Ravindra Jadeja (4) was pushed up the order ahead of Shreyas Iyer. He survived a review but was caught in the covers off the very next ball by Kuhnemann off Lyon.
Shreyas Iyer (0) edged a Kuhnemann delivery onto his stumps as India lost half their side with just 45 runs on the board.
Virat Kohli (22) had to channel all his technical acumen to survive and added 25 precious runs with KS Bharat for the sixth wicket. But Todd Murphy trapped the former Indian captain plumb in front of his stumps for his first wicket of the day and reduced India to 70/6.

CRICKET-AI-1

Lyon took his third wicket when he dismissed Bharat (17) LBW to make it worse for India at 82/7.
India went to lunch at 84/7, with Axar and Ashwin batting.
India were bowled out after lunch for 109 runs as Kuhnemann finished with 5/16.
As things stand, the most likely scenario is that this Test also may not last the whole five days.
After watching what’s on offer the Indian spinners would be more than eager to bowl on this surface.





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