Live scores
Live Commentary
South Africa
| South Africa 1st Inn 311 all out

If SOK doesn’t get you, the GOAT will

Glenn Mitchell Columnist

By Glenn Mitchell, Glenn Mitchell is a Roar Expert

 , , ,

101 Have your say

    Australia is potentially one good partnership from retaining the Border-Gavaskar Trophy.

    As it stands, five days of cricket may well be enough to end India’s hopes of regaining the silverware.

    And that Roarers, will be a magnificent achievement.

    India’s skipper Virat Kohli and coach Anil Kumble both played down the significance of Australia’s victory at Pune, deferring instead to the fact that the pitch was what made the tourists’ spinners look like world beaters.

    No such excuses can be put forward for the effort displayed with the willow on day one at Bangalore.

    India won the toss. Australia won the day, and likely, the Test.


    While the Indian camp did its best to talk down any chance of a post-Pune hangover, it was very much evident at Chinnaswamy Stadium.

    India’s hubris in producing a sub-standard pitch for the opening Test may well cost them the series.

    It allowed Australia to head to Bangalore brimful of confidence – especially its spinners – while India was scarred, regardless of their protestations otherwise.

    Yesterday, its batsmen lacked positivity, the footwork was errant, the game plan to the spinners flimsy, and the ability to apply pressure totally lacking except for a fine hand by opener K L Rahul (90), although he was the beneficiary of two dropped chances.

    While it was Steve O’Keefe who flattened the hosts at Pune, it was Nathan Lyon who landed the blows at Bangalore.

    He bowled beautifully in the opening Test and followed up again yesterday.

    He dismembered the Indian batting on a pitch that was deemed a good batting surface pre-game.

    Like Harbhajan Singh of yesteryear, Lyon imparts a lot of over spin with the resultant bounce proving just as big a threat as his side spin.

    His 8-50 from 22.2 overs are the best figures by a touring bowler in a Test in India and the sixth best by an Australian bowler anywhere.

    O’Keefe also bowled beautifully again, with his 1-40 off 21 overs sufficiently stymying the Indian run flow.

    During the innings, he also surpassed Brett Lee’s Australian record of 53 Test wickets against India.

    After Abhinav Mukund fell for a duck to Mitchell Starc, India progressed to 1-72 before Lyon claimed Cheteshwar Pujara right on lunch with a classic off-spinner’s dismissal with the ball turning from outside off, bouncing, catching the edge, then the pad and then the hands of Peter Handscomb at short leg.

    The middle session brought Kohli to the crease.

    He moved to a dozen before he produced a brain fade on par with his second innings dismissal at Pune when he lost off-stump to O’Keefe without offering a shot.

    On this occasion, he opted to shoulder arms to a ball that cannoned into his pads en route to leg stump.

    His referral was farcical as the forensic evidence showed the ball smashing full-on into the leg peg.

    It was the shot of a man whose brain was weighed down by the cataclysmic loss at Pune.

    India feeds off Kohli’s batting, much as Australia does off its skipper.

    Currently, he is plumbing the depths.

    Each of his three dismissals in this series – he flashed at a wide one from Starc to fall for a second ball duck in the first innings of the opening Test – have been those of a man whose mind is currently addled.

    The last time Kohli experienced a trough like this was in England in 2014.

    In that series, he was twice out not offering a shot – bowled for a duck at Lord’s by Liam Plunkett and leg before to Chris Jordan at The Oval.

    He ended the five Tests with 134 runs at 13.4. India led 1-0 after two Tests before losing 3-1.

    India's captain Virat Kohli

    In this series, he has 25 runs from three innings.

    Lyon’s resurrection has been astonishing.

    Had it not been for a calf injury to O’Keefe ahead of the Adelaide Test against South Africa, Lyon may not have been in the starting eleven in India.

    After failing to make an impact in Sri Lanka and a lacklustre start to the home summer he was destined for the chop after the humiliation of Hobart.

    Had he been jettisoned for the final South Africa Test, and with no Sheffield Shield cricket ahead of this series and with Mitchell Swepson and Ashton Agar in the touring party he could have been on the outer.

    And, indeed, had the roles been reversed yesterday and O’Keefe had been the one to claim the eight scalps Lyon’s hopes of being the primary spinner come the Ashes next summer would have been tenuous.

    As it sits currently, Lyon has 13 wickets in the series at 9.5 and O’Keefe 13 at 8.5.

    Between them, they have outplayed India at its own game.

    Lyon now sits on 241 Test wickets. Eight more and he will go past Richie Benaud into eighth position all-time for Australia, with Shane Warne the only spinner ahead of him.

    And, let us not forget, he is yet to turn 30.

    Resuming on day two at 0-40, and just 149 in arrears, Australia will be looking to keep the scoreboard ticking over.

    Given they will likely need to bat last to win the match the sooner they do so the better as the pitch will certainly deteriorate through days four and five.

    Thus far in the series, India has batted in three innings, faced 145 overs, lost 30 wickets, and scored 401 runs.

    From an Australian fan’s perspective, dreams do come true.

    Glenn Mitchell
    Glenn Mitchell

    After 21 years as a sports broadcaster with the ABC, since mid-2011 Glenn Mitchell has been freelancing in the electronic and written media. He is an ambassador for mental health in Australia, and tweets from @mitchellglenn.

    This video is trending right now! Submit your videos for the chance to win a share of $10,000!

    Have Your Say

    If not logged in, please enter your name and email before submitting your comment. Please review our comments policy before posting on the Roar.

    Oldest | Newest | Most Recent

    The Crowd Says (101)

    • March 5th 2017 @ 7:55am
      James Jackson said | March 5th 2017 @ 7:55am | ! Report

      I feel like I’m dreaming, two more good days boys

    • March 5th 2017 @ 8:15am
      E-Meter said | March 5th 2017 @ 8:15am | ! Report

      What a display by Nathan Lyon. That will keep the critics away. Not even Warne could do what Lyon has done in India. Most wickets by an Australian against India.

      • March 5th 2017 @ 2:57pm
        jamesc said | March 5th 2017 @ 2:57pm | ! Report

        most wickets by oneone in india, right?

    • March 5th 2017 @ 8:20am
      Worlds Biggest said | March 5th 2017 @ 8:20am | ! Report

      Australia’s renowned batting collapses still leave me cautious. Such an important day with bat coming up. Well done to Lyon for a brilliant spell, this should dispel the doubters out there.

      • March 5th 2017 @ 9:02am
        E-Meter said | March 5th 2017 @ 9:02am | ! Report

        That’s what worries me. You can confidently predict that some of our batsman will produce regulation failures. Need a 100 run lead minimum.

        • March 5th 2017 @ 9:06am
          jameswm said | March 5th 2017 @ 9:06am | ! Report

          Bugger that, we should aiming for 400. Smith, Renshaw and Handscomb can score big. Warner looked very determined last night, reining in his natural game.

          It’d be nice to be more confident about getting runs from 6-7, but maybe today’s the day.

          • March 5th 2017 @ 9:54am
            Don Freo said | March 5th 2017 @ 9:54am | ! Report

            Yes…that is quite a likely score on any pitch that allows good batting.

            I don’t think Australia will need to bat last. We look like we will only be batting once.

            Today and most of tomorrow will be enough. I’m predicting 600 plus. I love the spikes on the throat.

            • March 5th 2017 @ 11:48am
              jameswm said | March 5th 2017 @ 11:48am | ! Report

              Wow you’re more optimistic than me. I’m predicting a ton and two 60s, and about 400 all up.

              Hope you’re wrong there Don.

              • March 5th 2017 @ 1:04pm
                TheCunningLinguistic said | March 5th 2017 @ 1:04pm | ! Report

                Do you mean you hope Don is ‘right’, jameswm?

              • March 5th 2017 @ 1:23pm
                jameswm said | March 5th 2017 @ 1:23pm | ! Report

                Ooops – yes.

              • March 6th 2017 @ 12:50am
                Don Freo said | March 6th 2017 @ 12:50am | ! Report

                You’ve got the two 60s. Is the ton coming from Wade or…when you’re hot, you’re hot…will the ton come from The GOAT?

            • March 5th 2017 @ 10:28pm
              13th Man said | March 5th 2017 @ 10:28pm | ! Report

              Don, the pitch looks a lot tougher than first thought, I think Australia did really well today and a 100 run lead tomorrow would be very nice.

              • March 6th 2017 @ 12:38am
                Rob said | March 6th 2017 @ 12:38am | ! Report

                My sentiments exactly. You don’t start talking about how many you are going to score until you have seen both sides bat. A 100 run lead would be great because anything less could open the door. Batting last will be a nightmare if the pitch continues to play low.

              • March 6th 2017 @ 12:52am
                Don Freo said | March 6th 2017 @ 12:52am | ! Report

                Everyone knows that, Rob. It’s almost a cliche…not an aphorism. Have some fun predicting!

                If the pitch is going to grub like the Mitch Marsh dismissal, Marsh is actually the bowler who might benefit most from it.

              • Columnist

                March 7th 2017 @ 8:16am
                Glenn Mitchell said | March 7th 2017 @ 8:16am | ! Report

                What I find off Don is the lack of Mitch Marsh at the bowling crease in the series, especially this match with the up and down nature of the pitch. Australia had bowled 196 overs in the series before Marsh was introduced for his third over of the series deep in IND’s second innings at Bangalore.

              • March 7th 2017 @ 8:27am
                Don Freo said | March 7th 2017 @ 8:27am | ! Report

                I remember Ian Chappell once saying there was an innings when he forgot he had Kerry O’Keefe in the side and didn’t bowl him.

                I think Steve Smith needs to look to the gully more. Marsh has bowled 5 really tight overs in this Test and it is easy runs that have eased India back into the match. Marsh will dry them up…and produce wickets. If not for himself, the others will cash in.

                It is just good policy to use all the tools and add the variety.

          • March 5th 2017 @ 2:00pm
            jammel said | March 5th 2017 @ 2:00pm | ! Report

            yep – 400+ would be vy nice!

            Let’s not come out and try and score at 4/over. Let’s aim for 2.5/over and bat time. If that turns into 4/over later in the day, then that’s great! But let’s bat time, score big and win.

            Bat time and bat once only!

          • March 5th 2017 @ 2:03pm
            Bakkies said | March 5th 2017 @ 2:03pm | ! Report

            Exactly James doesn’t matter how you get them. 40-0 is a good start.

      • March 5th 2017 @ 1:05pm
        Tom said | March 5th 2017 @ 1:05pm | ! Report

        Nice to see Lyon has introduced variation to his bowling. Was too one dimensional previously so good coaching and chats with Herath seem to have given him much needed confidence.

    • March 5th 2017 @ 9:12am
      AdrianK said | March 5th 2017 @ 9:12am | ! Report

      Handy to have two different style spinners, allowing for effectiveness on different types of sub-continent pitches.
      Even if we can’t fit them both into the team in Australia (except Sydney), they should both be automatic selections in Indi, Sri Lancaster UAE and Bangladesh for the next 5 years.

      • March 5th 2017 @ 9:46am
        Bee bee said | March 5th 2017 @ 9:46am | ! Report

        You could use 2 spinners in Adelaide. If the curators at all the Australian grounds suddenly forgot how to water the grass we could just turn out dry dust bowls for next Summer’s Ashes. Similar to what England did when they had the Swann advantage.

        • March 5th 2017 @ 10:18am
          Nudge said | March 5th 2017 @ 10:18am | ! Report

          Wow, imagine that. It would certainly work in Australia’s favour with 2 quality spinners in the team to England’s zero. Australia preparing dust bowls with Pattinson, Starc,Hazlewood, Cummins, Behrendorf, Stanlake and Sayers all available. Where has David a Pom gone?

          • March 5th 2017 @ 11:33am
            jameswm said | March 5th 2017 @ 11:33am | ! Report

            We want bounce but not sideways movement off the pitch.

            • March 5th 2017 @ 12:04pm
              Bee bee said | March 5th 2017 @ 12:04pm | ! Report

              Have to agree. When you consider the quality and depth of pace bowlers we have (as mentioned by Nudge). It would be more satisfying and effective beating England on conventional bouncy Australian pitches.

              • March 5th 2017 @ 12:06pm
                Bee bee said | March 5th 2017 @ 12:06pm | ! Report

                Zampa got 10 wickets for match against QLD recently. Amazing depth in spin and pace stocks emerging.

              • March 5th 2017 @ 12:15pm
                Nudge said | March 5th 2017 @ 12:15pm | ! Report

                Yeah can’t imagine dust bowls with our fast bowling attack, especially with England’s pretty ordinary quicks. Broad the only real threat. Anderson averages over 40 in Australia and Woakes averages around the 40 to 50 mark away from home

    • March 5th 2017 @ 9:24am
      Baz said | March 5th 2017 @ 9:24am | ! Report

      im loving it they bowling so well as a team hardly nowling rubbish and not letting them get away. strac n hazelwood also dangerous.

    • March 5th 2017 @ 9:27am
      Adsa said | March 5th 2017 @ 9:27am | ! Report

      Just bat and bat and bat all day boys. Nothing would be better than still being at the crease at stumps at the end of day 2.

    , , ,