India finally loses a Test match at home since 2012. What will be worrying for Virat Kohli and his boys is the way they surrendered to the formidable visitors, without asking them questions. It was pitted as the clash of the titans, and fairly so, it is world number 1 taking on number 2. But if Pune is anything to go by, India have an uphill task to make a comeback in the series. Now they head down south to Bengaluru, familiar territory for Virat, Rahul and of course Mitchell Starc. So, here is decoding the reasons behind the epic loss:
- Toss loss: Winning the toss was winning half the match in a way, considering the crumbling nature of the pitch. Toss actually should not be so consequential, but it was. Virat Kohli has not been lucky with the tosses, but it did not matter against a less-potent England. Losing the toss meant Virat’s men had to bat last on an unplayable top. That psychologically must have disintegrated them.
- Woeful usage of DRS: is understandable that they are new to this system, but at least let common sense prevail, but the way Virat went for the reviews or when his batsman opted for it showed there was no head going into it. It was more instinctive rather than a wise one. Imagine in the last innings when the best batsman of your team, Virat Kohli comes out to bat on an unplayable top, without any reviews for his aide.
- Butterfingers took centrestage: It is said that catches win matches and it is a age-old proven fact. India did not take it seriously and they paid for it, heavily. The best of them, Rahane was dropping sitters and that cost India heavily. It seemed that the ball had refused to stick. They looked like college players dropping dollies. The fielding is another aspect India has to fine tune ahead of the second Test.
- Lack of application: India’s famed top order played irresponsibly. Virat Kohli was out to an extravagant shot on the second ball, knowing very well that slips are positioned for an edge. It seemed he was arrogant in doing so. KL Rahul who looked solid and well set played a very unnecessary shot. Pujara got a good one in the first innings. All in all it seemed that they lacked application and were drunk in their egos that led to the downfall.
- No specific plans: When Virat Kohli went for the new ball in the first innings when Australians were matted for 205 with a wicket to go. That had no logic. Apart from Smith and Warner, there were no specific plans whereas the Australians had a plan in place for all the Indian players, that made a huge difference. Steven Smith was on the button with his field settings and usage of his resources. The visiting captain made sure none of his bowlers were over-exhausted and that held the key.