Following a disastrous start to the Border Gavaskar series, India have bounced back strongly in the ongoing Boxing Day Test. The visitors bowled Australia out for 195 before taking a lead of 82 at stumps on day two. It was Ravichandran Ashwin who orchestrated Australia’s batting collapse with the new ball in tandem with Jasprit Bumrah. Ashwin scalped three wickets in the first innings including that of Steve Smith.
The crafty offspinner dismissed Smith for a duck, his first in the first innings of a Test match. Former Aussie batsman Michael Hussey feels that Ashwin has got ‘some wood over’ Smith this series. Ashwin also dismissed the Aussie run machine in the first Test. Hussey calls out Smith’s footwork against Ashwin in the series,
“He (Ashwin) has got some wood over Steve Smith and that will annoy him. It was a strange shot from him he seemed to have poked at it,” Hussey said on ESPNCricinfo.
“It was almost as if he was giving catching practice. He wasn’t the decisive Steve Smith that we are used to seeing against spin. There’s obviously something unsure about him when he’s facing Ashwin,” he added.
It was a bowling quality performance
Hussey was all praises for the Indian bowling line up for restricting the Aussies below 200. Bumrah picked four wickets in the first innings while debutant Mohammed Siraj picked two. But it was Ashwin’s heroics early on which paved the path for the hosts’ downfall. The legendary Aussie batsman calls out Australia batsmen’s technique against spin. Hussey points out that most of the batsmen are found pushing hard at the ball. And that is what is leading to their undoing.
“Australia’s technique against the spin a lot of them are pushing hard at the ball and that brings those close in fielders on the leg side if there’s any turn.”
“He got bounce and that was due to him coming on early. The ball was still hard and that’s what worries the Australian batsmen. There’s plenty of natural variations as well. It was a quality performance once again,” Hussey said.
India finished day two on a strong note as stand-in captain Ajinkya Rahane brought up his second Test ton at the MCG. The visitors closed the day with an 82-run lead.