Former Australia opening batsman, Matthew Hayden, believes the visitors have managed to rattle India skipper Virat Kohli after the home team’s best batsman was dismissed cheaply for the third time, in the second Test in Bangalore. (LIVE BLOG)
Indian cricket fans have been stunned by their batsmen thrice capitulating against Aussie spinners. It was left-arm Steve O’Keefe’s 12/70 that did them in at the Pune Test while off-spinner Nathan Lyon claimed 8/50 to dismiss India for 189 on Day 1 of the second Test on Saturday.
Virat Kohli has been dismissed for 0, 13 and 12, falling to spin on the last two occasions while not offering a shot. Kohli had struck a double century in each of his last four Test series but was bowled shoulder arms against O’Keefe in the second innings of the Pune Test and trapped leg before against Lyon in Bangalore, again pulling his bat away. (LIVE SCORE)
Former batsman, Mark Waugh, a current national selector, criticised Virat Kohli, for the manner of his dismissal in Bangalore.
“That’s a brain fade,” Waugh told Australia’s Fox News. “I know the ball before bounced and hit him on the thigh-pad and he’s a bit worried about those two men on the leg side, but that’s bread-and-butter for an Indian batsman, a class player. You just tuck that off the hip. “It was very un-Kohli like. He made a point of saying ‘we need to play with much more intent in this game’ but he’s been the prime example of not actually doing that.”
Hayden, who is doing TV commentary in this series, believes India are fatigued at the end of an exhausting home season. Starting against New Zealand in the third week of September, India are playing their 11th Test, which included a five-match series versus England. In between, they also played limited-overs series against the Kiwis and England.
IN KOHLI’S MIND
The Aussies love to target the best player in the opposition ranks, and Virat Kohli’s worries must please them no end.
“It’s been a pretty long summer for India, so far,” Hayden told cricket.com.au. “Their board has asked them to play a lot of cricket and once you get behind the momentum of the game it’s often hard to claw back.”
“We (Australia) are in Virat’s mind. We’re in the whole country’s mind, actually, because (there) was such a huge build up to this series.
“(India) have played a lot of Test match cricket up to this point but this is the series they really wanted to dominate and they’re just not getting their way currently.”
The former left-handed opener was a massive success on the 2001 tour, but India rallied to win the series 2-1 after losing the first match. However, Hayden was part of the 2004 tour when Australia won their first series in India for 35 years.
The Aussies have not won a series in India since then.
“I’m not saying they can’t claw back,” he said. “It’s taken India by surprise in the first game just how diabolical that surface was in Pune and this one as well, which is traditionally such a good batting track.”
Most of the India players are unlikely to get any respite soon. They get into action IPL action soon after the Test series ends in Dharamsala, where the final Test will be played from March 25 to 29.
The glitzy T20 league is scheduled from April 5 to May 21 before India head to England to play in the ICC Champions Trophy.