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I would like to give Josh Hazlewood a big praise here. Not just from his usual bowling role. But also from a teamwork perspective. Putting an all-round display.
The first innings spell may have halted in between. Australia did removed both India openers quickly. But the likes of Cheteshwar Pujara & Virat Kohli held up.
Josh is lucky to notice the mix up from Virat & Ajinkya Rahane. Ajinkya thought he is here for the quick single. But Josh threw back to Nathan Lyon in time. And Nathan completed this run out. The umpire gave Kohli the finger. So he had to go back upstairs & unable to get his 100.
It later helped Josh pick up the LBW off Hanuma Vihari. It may be his solitary wicket in the opening spell. Mitchell Starc did complete the rest. But again the post-Kohli show saw Josh got Vihari. It is all about the right areas. And he targeted the stumps nicely so it landed to his bat pad.
I think Josh learned it very well when he reads what Kohli cannot do. And how it impact the opposition. It gave him time to process this plot while Australia bats. His team may not did outstanding. But Josh & Pat Cummins recovered this Day 2 slump.
And both men got off the mark. It may not exactly target the stumps. But at least threw in some speed. So they can make the batsman react in panic. It is how India did not make their use of footwork. And suffered a collapse on the way. Before Josh helped Australia guide a clear pathway to win the 1st Test in Adelaide.
Josh may not be the only saviour here in the Baggy Green Army. Why not we praise the skipper in charge? Meet Tim Paine.
He sorts out the field where Australia limited India’s first card to 244. Not a big ask to respond. Thanks to his call outs to the team-mates. Plus the two catch that helped the India tail end. He dismissed both Wriddiman Saha & Ravi Ashwin.
His team may not have the oustanding response yesterday. Most of the Top 6 made up too little timing/footwork. And worked off the good balls. But Tim saved them to the middle ground. That would be simple & “safe pair” shots down low.
He got off the mark having stayed there for longer. And It helped Tim earned his 50 & stayed until the end (73*). The Top 6 apart from Marnus Labuschagne may have let him down. But the bowlers never said die. And quickly covered their slump.
His bowling department exactly gave the advice they needed. All it needs is support. And they did exactly just that to destroy India’s 2nd card. The areas and speed are there. That helped Tim complete five catches. Four off Josh Hazlewood. And one from Pat Cummins.
The successful catches include four of the India Top 6. It ranges from Mayank Agarwal. Then it goes to Cheteshwar Pujara & Ajinkya Rahane. And Tim rounds up the tail with Ravi Ashwin & Hanuma Vihari. Got to credit his batting that saved Australia. And his catching/leadership today that directed the winner of Test 1.
Now it is hard to see this team in such agony right now. They built a great batting stand earlier on. Then India lead after Australia unable to respond in return with the bat. Thanks to the decent work both from the ball and also the fielding side.
His name is Ravi Ashwin. He is a bowling all-rounder in his right arm off-spin. And can be a handy batsman at the tail. He did okay adding the extra runs. 15 runs off 20 balls. But got caught by the gloves of Tim Paine. It may be the correct shot. The timing/feet would have gone against him.
The bowling is much more successful when India gets to field/bowl. At least during the Australia first innings. Ravi noticed their weaknesses. And where they got in trouble before. He saw Steve Smith add no value apart from the edge. Credit to Ajinkya Rahane who catched at slip.
The same goes with Travis Head when he whacked it too early. He summed the opposition Top 6 on Cameron Green. Cam did not make much room to accomodate his shot at mid-wicket. And Ravi finished his 4fer on Nathan Lyon. Even though Paine & Marnus held him up for a while.
But of a sudden it changed them to a very bad state. Poor shot selection is one them. So does the little footwork. Even without his full support. And this person is the best by himself for India. Not just today. But also from throughout Test 1.
You can see how Ravi sorted out the run out from Matthew Wade. He turned the ball straight to the stumps. Poor Matty who whacked a away a good ball. Only for the stumping to come in. And Ravi threw the same area. Also for Marnus to scoop with little feet before Agarwal catched at mid-on. This is masterclass from Ravi. Just not for the whole team.