It took all of 38 minutes for the Australian bowling attack led by Steve O’Keefe’s heroic six wicket effort to bring the India batting crashing down in the opening Test in Pune on Day 2. At lunch, India were 70/3 with KL Rahul and Ajinkya Rahane in the middle. Trio of Murali Vijay, Cheteshwar Pujara and Virat Kohli were already back in the hut but there was plenty of batting to come.
But the real turmoil began just after 12.30 PM local time.
94/4: With the sun searing down at the MCA Stadium, hosting a Test for the very first time, KL Rahul walked back at 64 having looked incredibly classy in his batting so far. He was confident in his shots and playing calmly with plenty to do ahead. He came charging down to O’Keefe and looked to play over long-off. Though he couldn’t quite get to the pitch of the ball and the shot skews off the outside edge to be taken by David Warner. There were bigger concerns though as he clutched his shoulder and needed the physio’s help to walk back.
95/5: Three minutes later, Rahane, his partner in the 50-run partnership, was taken at second slip by Peter Handscomb. Rahane tried to play the ball into the leg side but didn’t execute it perfectly and was credit must be given to Handscomb to judge that catch.
95/6: Three minutes and two balls later, O’Keefe struck again with Wriddhiman Saha the Indian batsman gone out this time around. On the final delivery of the 33rd over and with two wickets taken already in the over, O’Keefe wasn’t done and Saha obliged with the wicket. A good length ball from the left arm bowler angled into middle and has Saha poking at it but it draws an outside edge which kisses the keeper’s gloves to go on to be taken by Steve Smith in the slips.
95/7: In the battle of the spinners, Nathan Lyon got R Ashwin with the Indian offie offering a defensive shot but the ball hits the toe, jumps up and is taken by Handscomb at short leg. India lose four wickets in seven balls.
98/8: O’Keefe adds a fourth wicket to his name with Jayant Yadav falling. The Haryana spinner went a bit too far in his stretch to defend and Matt Wade was quick to take off the bails with Jayant’s foot on the line.
101/9: O’Keefe bagged a fifer with the wicket of Ravindra Jadeja who raced down the pitch and tried to take away the nervousness and tension by going for a big hit. But in the process, he slogs to deep midwicket and is taken by Mitchell Starc.
105 all out: India’s downfall and O’Keefe’s six-for were complete with Umesh Yadav the last wicket to go. Once again, an Indian batsman tried to slog but doesn’t execute it perfectly. Ends up getting a thick outside edge with Steve Smith taking the catch. With that, what started at 12:37 PM IST with a fourth wicket, finishes with a horrific collapse at 1:15 PM IST.