The confidence of the victory that Australia managed in the series opener in Pune was evident on day one of the second India v Australia Test at the Chinnaswamy Stadium, Bangalore on Saturday. On a pitch that would normally be ideal to bat in the first two days, India, opting to bat first, were bundled out for 189. Credit must be given where it is due and Australian bowlers should take that.
Mitchell Starc and Josh Hazlewood did not allow India batsmen to settle during the opening burst and then Nathan Lyon and Steve O’Keefe bowled with such impeccable plan that it belied belief that this was the same Indian batting line-up that dominated their oppositions before the start of the series.
Lyon claimed a career-best 8 for 50, rivalling his fellow spinner Steve O’Keefe’s first Test heroics. Knocking off Abhinav Mukund (0) inside the first hour of play was surely a start Australia would have expected, but the wickets of Cheteshwar Pujara (17), at the stroke of lunch, and then Virat Kohli (12) and Ajinkya Rahane (17) in the second session proved that the Australians were exploiting the Pune momentum to the hilt.
That momentum continued to rock the hosts as India lost their last five wickets for just 33 runs. KL Rahul was the lone bright spot in the Indian batting order battling his way to 205-ball 90.