The Indian batting were jolted yet again on the first day of the second Test match against Australia as they were bowled out for 191. In reply, Australia recovered from the early loss of three wickets to end the day at 116/3, in a position from where they can think of dictating terms.
India decided to bat first after winning the toss, which seemed like the correct decision. After all, the Indians needed to see through a session and a bit without losing too many wickets and the pitch was expected to turn into a much easier one to bat on.
Instead, the Indian batsmen failed in wake of some excellent swing bowling from the trio of James Pattinson, Ben Hilfenhaus and Peter Siddle. Pattinson continued his good form to pick up four wickets while the other two pace bowlers shared three each.
For India, there were contributions from Sachin Tendulkar (41) and MS Dhoni (unbeaten 57), but the rest of the side fell away rather quickly to be bowled out. Gambhir fell in the first over while Rahul Dravid’s 33-ball 5 was ended by Peter Siddle.
30/2 became 55/3 and later 59/4 before lunch as the Indian batsmen failed to bring anything out of their reserves against the swinging ball.
Tendulkar and Virat Kohli did not last enough to push the score to beyond 100 and when Tendulkar became Pattinson’s fourth victim, India had only 124 on the board.
Dhoni was helped by R Ashwin’s 20 but that was about where the tail-end resistance ended.
In reply, Zaheer took a wicket off the last ball of his first over and the first ball of his second to reduce Australia to 8/2. Ed Cowan scored 16 before Zaheer had him lbw as well but Ricky Ponting and Michael Clarke saw the side through to 3/116 by the close of play.
If Australia can bat out the first session on the second day, losing not more than a wicket, they will be a good enough position to go and get to a 150-run plus lead.
India need early wickets to have a chance of making a comeback into the game.