Homework Done Right By The Aussies

Australia finished day 2 of the Pune Test at 143/4, with a humongous lead amounting to two short of 300. But the talk of the cricketing town was the overly dramatic collapse of the Indian middle order that left them loitering for answers on the field for the rest of the day. 105 is the home team’s lowest innings total at home since the capitulation by Steyn & Co in Motera 2008. Records tumbled and were created ball after ball, here are some more of them:

-Steve O’Keefe is the first visiting bowler to take 3 wickets in an over in Tests in India since 2001.

-Only the second time in India’s last 9 Test series that Murli Vijay has not scored a fifty in the first innings of a Test series.

-Kohli’s expansive attempt at driving through covers could only let him bag his fifth duck in Tests, and the first in India.

-India lost seven wickets in a space of 11 runs, making it the worst seven-haul collapse for them.

-O’Keefe’s 6/35 is the third best figures for a visiting left arm spinner in India ever, second best for an Australian. Interestingly, Michael Clarke’s 6/9 (2004) is the best performance by an Australian left-arm spinner in India.

-This is India’s second lowest total against Australia at home, after being embarrassed at Mumbai in 2004, when they were dismissed for 104. Australia although, went on to lose that match. Circumstances do not seem like they may follow suit. But ruling India out of a game on a turning track is the sort of mistake they probably succumbed to twelve years ago as well.

This is Virat Kohli’s sternest test as a skipper in his tenure, with his team in a hole they dug themselves in with the help of a handyman named Steve O’Keefe. Steve Smith just has to drive straight and long, and with the odds heavily placed in their favour for the match, even Boof (Darren Lehmann) knows this is their best chance to set up the series.