The Indian cricket team, which had been on a high after two convincing victories in the series against Australia, faced a crushing defeat in the third Test held at the Holkar stadium in Indore.
The Indian team’s decision to bat on a turning pitch backfired, as they collapsed against the Australian spinners and could not cross 200 in either innings.
This decision proved to be a costly gamble for the team, as they faced a massive defeat, and their lack of preparedness for the match became evident.
The Indian team’s performance in the Indore Test was abysmal, and several factors contributed to their defeat.
One of the major reasons was the failure of their top-order batsmen, who collapsed in both innings of the match.
Despite being known for their ability to play spin well, the Indian batsmen struggled to come to grips with the turning pitch at the Holkar stadium. This was surprising, given that the team had a solid batting line-up that had performed well in the previous two matches.
The Indian team’s senior duo, Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli, failed to deliver when it mattered the most.
Rohit, who has been in good form in the recent past, perished for 12 in the first innings, getting stumped off Matthew Kuhnemann’s bowling.
In the second innings, he was dismissed for the same score by Nathan Lyon.
Kohli, on the other hand, looked promising in the first innings but could not push on, falling LBW to Todd Murphy for 22.
In the second innings, he fell to a poor shot, missing a pull shot off Kuhnemann with the ball skidding through and staying a bit low.
Cheteshwar Pujara showed great determination to keep the Australians at bay on a difficult pitch, but the other Indian batsmen failed to learn from his dogged approach.
Lyon, Murphy, and Kuhnemann were making the ball turn and bounce, but Pujara held strong at one end.
He was the only Indian batsman to hit a fifty in the Indore Test; the next best was Shreyas Iyer’s 26.
The team’s inability to perform collectively was one of the major reasons for their defeat.
Apart from their poor batting performance, India’s poor reviews also cost them a wicket.
Ravindra Jadeja, who had been in good form, twice convinced Captain Rohit Sharma to take the reviews against Usman Khawaja. However, both reviews went against India, and they ended up losing both DRS reviews.
This created a doubt in Rohit’s mind, and he did not relent when Ravichandran Ashwin had a close leg-before shout turned down against Marnus Labuschagne in the 11th over.
Had India taken the review, the umpire’s decision would have been overturned, and Labuschagne would have been dismissed for seven. This was a clear example of the team’s lack of planning and coordination on the field.
Another factor that contributed to India’s defeat was the decision to promote Ravindra Jadeja to the batting order ahead of Shreyas Iyer.
Jadeja, who had been in red-hot form with the bat, was sent ahead of Iyer in both innings. However, the move did not work, as the southpaw flopped with the bat.
Sanjay Manjrekar, a former Indian cricketer and commentator, criticized the team’s decision, stating that it did not make sense to send Jadeja ahead of Iyer.
“It has just disappointed me in the last and this innings as well that Jadeja came ahead of Shreyas Iyer.”
“You cannot be doing that for left-right combination. You have got a proper batter, even if he is a right hander.”
“Jadeja coming in as a left-hander, I can understand when you have 2-3 left-arm spinners like Bangladesh used to have in the past.”
“Here you have two quality off-spinners bowling. It did not make any sense to me. Iyer has a great feel for spinners so you want him ahead in the line-up. And he has shown his class.”
India needs to learn from their mistakes and put on a better show in the fourth Test, else their chances of making it to the WTC Final are in danger.