The match result reads- Australia beat India by 48 runs, Nathan Lyon 12/286. But that only tells one half of the story. The two centuries from Virat Kohli, the half-centuries from Murali Vijay and some decent batting from Rahane and Pujara in the first innings were one of the many of the positives that India can take from his match. Virat’s captaincy and his demeanor on the field is another major take away. Let’s take a look at other talking points after the Adelaide Test match.
Dhawan’s Poor form: Michael Clarke declared overnight with Australia leading by 363 runs and the Indian openers had their task cut out. Much was expected from Shikhar Dhawan. He has looked scrappy and was getting squared up by the Aussie quicks pretty easily. He was tentative and more circumspect in his approach, he was unlucky when a rising Johnson delivery took a slight deflection off his shoulder and South African umpire Marais Erasmus adjudged him caught behind. He didn’t have the best of tours in England and may not have too many outings in the middle to prove himself if he can’t get some runs under his belt pretty soon.
Murali Vijay: The man fondly called Monk by his teammates has been the steadying force at the top of the innings for India. After the largely successful series in England, he has worked very hard on perfecting his technique against the swing and bounce outside subcontinent wickets. But the Chennai man has had some trouble in converting his 90s to 100s. He now has three scores in the nineties outside India- 97 at Durban, 95 at Lord’s and now a 99 at Adelaide. Vijay had a 185-run partnership with Virat Kohli after the early departure of Pujara and Dhawan.
Rahane’s wicket: Again some bad umpiring came to haunt India as Rahane was given out caught off Nathan Lyon while the replays suggested that there was no bat involved. This raised the touchy issue of DRS again, is the BCCI’s decision to not use the system costing the team some important, perhaps match changing wickets?
Rohit Sharma’s batting: Rohit silenced his critics when he scored a record-breaking 264 in an ODI at the Eden Gardens not long ago. The Mumbai batsman has looked nowhere near his true self so far. The manner in which he got out on Saturday was quite appalling, taking a big front foot stride to a Nathan Lyon off-break, offering the face of the bat at an angle. Normally a fantastic player of spin and short pitched bowling, Rohit attempted to sweep Nathan Lyon to negate the turn but looked far from confident on Day 5.
Virat’s wicket: Despite losing Vijay, Rahane and Saha at the opposite end, Virat Kohli went about his job punishing the bad deliveries and kept getting the runs at a good pace. His presence in the middle was more than reassuring for India as he has earned the reputation of being one of the best chasers. A half tracker from Nathan Lyon deserved to to deposited in the stands, a shot Virat had played umpteen times in the match but this time he just hit it a perhaps millisecond late and handed Mitch Marsh the catch and the match.
Lyon’s bowling: The man who knows more than a thing or two about pitches and specially the ones at Adelaide was at the top if his game. Lyon USP is the amount of revolutions he gets on the ball. On a pitch that was offering turn and bounce, it was just about landing it in the right spot. Also, Lyon bowled a rewarding outside off stump line regularly forcing batsmen onto the back foot.