There were many flaws identified in India’s performance from the first Test in Adelaide, with batting and fielding emerging the biggest of the lot. There were occasions in the first innings when India put down a couple of catches, and even though they didn’t prove too costly, the fact that India’s catching hasn’t been the cleanest of late remains a matter of concern.
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Secondly, India were heavily let down by their batting, losing their way in the first innings after Virat Kohli’s dismissal followed by the catastrophe that unfolded in the second innings, which saw them getting bundled out for 36 – India’s lowest total in Tests. Former Australia wicketkeeper Adam Gilchrist feels India need to address their batting woes, starting with opener Prithvi Shaw.
“In both innings, Prithvi Shaw’s early dismissal put the team on the back foot. Shaw was part of the team during the last India series here, and there has been plenty of hype and build-up around the youngster. This has also meant that his technique has been scrutinised and there was a clear plan to exploit the gap between his bat and pad that is a matter of concern for the youngster,” Gilchrist wrote in his column for Mid-Day.
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Shaw scored a two-ball duck and 4 in Adelaide and fell to near identical dismissals in both innings. Going forward, Gilchrist believes it will be a tricky situation for the selectors to retain him for the second Test at the Melbourne Cricket Ground starting December 26.
“Shaw has also been prone to expansive shots which might backfire in Australian conditions, because he will be liable to edging one to gully. While he is a talented youngster, his performance will put the selectors in a dilemma as they plan for the Boxing Day Test,” he added.
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Gilchrist also found Cheteshwar Pujara’s approach defensive in the first innings, saying the partnership between him and Kohli is what bogged down the innings. Pujara scored 43 off 160 balls with two fours at a strike-rate of 26.88; however, Gilchrist felt India could have done with the same approach in the second innings but unfortunately couldn’t.
“Looking back at the first innings, I would think that the seemingly slow batting from Cheteshwar Pujara and Virat Kohli was, in fact superb defensive batting. That was what India failed to replicate in the second innings,” Gilchrist wrote.
“In the first innings it had seemed that India were not looking for scoring opportunities, but Kohli’s masterclass of concentration alongside Pujara and later Ajinkya Rahane is what ensured that India reached 244.”