Anil Kumble blames ‘soft dismissals’ after India’s batting collapse vs Australia

Anil Kumble criticises batsmen for not adapting to the conditions after Australia spinner Steve O’Keefe runs through the batting.

cricket Updated: Feb 24, 2017 20:57 IST
Bihan Sengupta
Bihan Sengupta
Hindustan Times, Pune
Anil Kumble,Virat Kohli,KL Rahul
Australia's Steve O'Keefe celebrates the wicket of India's Ajinkya Rahane.(REUTERS)

Indian batsmen should have shown more restraint, coach Anil Kumble said on Friday, after a sensational batting collapse left them facing defeat in the first Test against Australia. (LIVE BLOG)

“We were in a pretty decent position when Rahul and Ajinkya were batting, but once Rahul got out, we lost those four wickets for four or five balls. But then, you are bound to have a bad day,” Kumble told the media after the day’s play.

“There were a couple of soft dismissals. Certainly this pitch was a challenging one and needed more restraint… you need to mix your aggression and caution. Credit to the Australian bowlers.”

India crashed to 105 all out as Australia grabbed the initiative, reaching 143 for four in the second innings to extend their overall lead to 298.


As the crowd began melting away after a disappointing day for India, a few fans were huddled near the North-east stand holding the iron fence as Cheteshwar Pujara took guard in the nets. The setting sun was in their eyes, but they ignored that. They just wanted to watch an India player bat without having to pray he doesn’t get out. He had been caught behind off Mitchell Starc’s short delivery which rose sharply.

Overseeing his practice were Kumble and assistant coaches Sanjay Bangar and R Sridhar as Pujara faced a few bouncers hurled at him with the side-arm (bowling equipment).

Kumble had addressed the media before coming down to the nets. He was clearly unimpressed with the batting, but kept a straight face as he backed his players.


Opener KL Rahul and Ajinkya Rahane had steadied the ship after twin strikes from Mitchell Starc had reduced India to 44/3. But spinner Steve O’Keefe sent back both of them and Wriddhiman Saha in one over as India lost the last seven wickets for 11 runs.

Kumble said: “It’s a surface that was there and you have to adapt. We didn’t adapt that well. Probably if you look at yesterday, the first 80 runs (of the Australia innings) were in the first session and then the last 60 runs for the last wicket. I think that slightly took us away from where we were wanting to restrict Australia.

“Once Rahul and Ajinkya had that partnership (50 for the second wicket), that’s when we could have consolidated and got closer to their score and even got a lead, but it was just a poor day.”

Praising O’Keefe, who wrecked the Indian batting by taking six for 35, Kumble said: “He bowled consistently in good areas, and there were a couple of soft dismissals and that pushed us back. It was one of those days where Jadeja bowled in the last session and was probably beating the bat almost three times every over. On another day it could have taken an edge or got a wicket… O’Keefe pitched it (right) and got the results.”

First Published: Feb 24, 2017 20:02 IST