India vs Australia: Nathan Coulter-Nile’s blows catch India top order off-guard | india vs australia 2017 | Hindustan Times
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India vs Australia: Nathan Coulter-Nile’s blows catch India top order off-guard

Nathan Coulter-Nile picked three quick wickets to rattle Indian cricket team in the first ODI in Chennai. The Australian pacer displayed control and was the top wicket-taker for them

india vs australia 2017 Updated: Sep 17, 2017 23:24 IST
Somshuvra Laha
Somshuvra Laha
Hindustan Times, Chennai
India vs Australia,Nathan Coulter-Nile,Indian cricket team
Nathan Coulter-Nile celebrates after dismissing Ajinkya Rahane during India vs Australia 1st ODI in Chennai.(REUTERS)

When Chepauk fell silent at the loss of India’s top three wickets cheaply in the first ODI on Sunday, Australia celebrated the success of their strategy of wooing batsmen with wide and full deliveries after keeping them in check with tight bowling. (India vs Australia 1st ODI: Highlights)

It’s an age-old way of riling established batsmen, only at a venue no one saw it coming. Still, with an overcast sky, new ball and a firm pitch, Australia deployed three slips, a backward point, and gave it a go. (India vs Australia 1st ODI: Scorecard)

While Pat Cummins is more a hit-the-deck express bowler, Nathan Coulter-Nile was always known to extract more lateral movement with fuller lengths. Australia captain Steve Smith only had to keep his men ready. Bowling to a plan, Cummins started off by trying to extract more bounce off the MA Chidambaram Stadium pitch.

Coulter-Nile, on the other hand, stuck to a line just outside off-stump, occasionally getting the ball to swing away slightly. Fast but not express, Coulter-Nile displayed control and that should have been the cue for the batsmen to exercise more caution against him. Rohit Sharma did that but not Ajinkya Rahane.

Rahane’s anxiety

Under pressure to deliver in the first three ODIs or face more time on the bench, Rahane couldn’t resist the temptation of chasing a wide delivery after being sobered with a quick bouncer to prevent any run off a freehit. Rahane’s attempt ended up being a half-hearted drive, producing a nick that was gloved by Matthew Wade.

READ | MS Dhoni completes landmark of 100 half-centuries in international cricket

Kohli was asked similar questions on arrival. He only lasted three deliveries before trying to go for a big booming drive, only managing a slice that was brilliantly caught by a leaping Glenn Maxwell at backward point. That nothing was learnt from the two dismissals showed in Manish Pandey’s attempt to get off the mark in style.

So full was Coulter-Nile that umpire Marcus Erasmus consulted the TV umpire to ensure it wasn’t a bump. Pandey tried to dig in his bat alright but the ball took the edge and never touched the ground. With a spell of 4-0-8-3, Coulter-Nile had such an impact so early in the match that despite Hardik Pandya and MS Dhoni’s repair job, India couldn’t reach 300, something they have achieved with ease in recent times.

First Published: Sep 17, 2017 19:54 IST