Indian bowling inexperience shows, Australia posts 274/5 at the end of Day 1
India has a lot to play for in this test. A possible series win, rewriting history at the Gabba etc. The problem is, they don’t have a lot to play with. The loss of both Jasprit Bumrah and Ravi Ashwin has really exposed their bowling resources. Maybe that’s why India chose to go with five frontline bowlers. Five bowlers who have played a total of 4 test matches between them. In the batting side of things, India will be happy that they can field Mayank Agarwal, as replacement for the injured Hanuma Vihari.
Should Kuldeep Yadav have played?
The great Shane Warne has often said that the Gabba is one of the grounds he loves bowling at. Apparently, the extra bounce at the Gabba helps wrist spinners. The obvious question that arises is if India were playing five bowlers, why not play Kuldeep?
Day 1, Australian first innings
Post the loss of Shami and Umesh, who are very good with the old ball, India have relied mainly on the new ball for breakthroughs. Siraj and Shardul didn’t disappoint here as they got rid of both the Aussie openers quickly. Siraj took care of Warner, twice in as many matches now and Marcus Harries was dismissed by Shardul. But then the old pair of Steve Smith and Marnus Labuschagne held fort. On a flat pitch with good bounce, Smith looked like he was getting himself in for a big score. By lunch Australia 65/2.
After lunch, Smith got out to Washington Sundar on 36. Does Smith have a weakness against off spin? India were back in the match at that point. Then a moment that has the potential to decide the match for India, Rahane dropped a simple catch of Marcus off Saini, Marcus was at 36 then. Rubbing salt on the wound was the injury to Navdeep Saini. Saini off the field and possibly out of the match too. Slowly Wade and Marnus built a partnership, adding to their scores. Australia 154/ 3 at Tea.
After tea, Marcus completed his hundred. And Wade looked on course for his half century too, until he got out trying to pull Natarajan. Natarajan picked up a second wicket as well, when he got Marnus for 108.
At 213/ 5 things could have gotten tricky for the Aussies but Tim Paine with Cameron Green took Australia to safety. A 60 odd run partnership which took Australia to 274/5 at the close of play on day 1. Green 28* and Paine 38*.
India had two bowlers on debut today but are unlucky to have lost another to injury. And their inexperienced bowling lineup is looking depleted and out of sorts right now.
They must find a way of dismissing the Aussies before 375 on Day 2. If they don’t do that, things will go completely south for the visitors very quickly.