R Ashwin bowled 49 overs. Umesh Yadav and Ishant Sharma bowled 24 and 27 overs respectively. The three bowlers shared four wickets amongst them. Ravindra Jadeja bowled the least overs in the Australian innings but he along picked up six wickets for 63 runs and that too in just 21.4 overs.
So why did India captain Virat Kohli chose to under-bowl the bowlers who was the most successful in the innings. His seventh five-wicket haul was also his second best bowling figure in Test cricket. His best in 7 wickets for 48 against England in Chennai last year.
Jadeja’s six wickets included that of three left handers. Generally, a left-arm spinner will not be hugely successful against left-arm batsmen. But here is Jadeja, who showed why he is India’s top bowler.
The world number one bowler Ashwin could manage only two wickets. It was Kohli’s decision to keep Jadeja off bowling on the second day even after he picked the wicket of Matt Renshaw. On day three, Jadeja was introduced after Ashwin.
But Jadeja only needed 26 more deliveries on the new day to add three wickets to his three from day two. His victims include Renshaw, Steve Smith, Matthew Wade, Nathan Lyon and Josh Hazlewood.
Jadeja’s bowling helped India restrict Australia to 276 in their first innings and their lead was only 87 runs. The visitors resumed the day at 237/6 and India need to pick the four wickets quickly to remain the match.
Mitchell Starc was the first to fall as he went for a slog sweep off Ashwin. Jadeja, placed at square-leg, jumped in the air and took a good catch. Then it was Jadeja’s magic with the ball.
He first took the wicket of Wade, who was well set. Getting him leg-before wicket, Jadeja then took the wicket of Lyon on the very next delivery. This was his fifth of the innings. While he did not pick a hat-trick, he had Hazlewood’s wicket in the next over to complete six wickets.
But what was Kohli thinking by not giving him more overs? We may not even know the answer but Jadeja made the most of whatever little he got. Kohli, on his part, will be more thoughtful with his bowling changes next time around.