Nice Garry! Nathan Lyon claimed a record 8 for 50 in India's first innings    IANS
Nice Garry! Nathan Lyon claimed a record 8 for 50 in India’s first innings IANS

I bowled over 1,200 balls in Dubai , said India s wrecker-in-chief Nathan Lyon, talking about his preparations in the build-up of the India tour. The idea of training in the UAE has certainly worked wonders for Australia, who have ruled the roost since their arrival. If it was Steve O Keefe at Pune, Lyon took charge of proceedings at Bengaluru on Day One of the second Test. Lyon s 8 for 50 shot India out for yet another embarrassing total in the ongoing Test series, leaving the hosts with a mountain to climb if they have to make a comeback. India were bowled out for a poor 189, with KL Rahul standing tall amid the rubble that was produced by Virat Kohli s team. FULL CRICKET SCORECARD: India vs Australia, 2nd Test at Bengaluru

India could not have asked for a better start when Kohli won the toss and showed no hesitance in batting first. Unfortunately for them, all it took was a mere 71.2 overs for Australia to bowl India out under 200 for the third time on the trot in this series. The visitors, with a vital lead of 1-0 already in their bank, found their hero in Lyon, whereas India had Rahul s innings of 90 to save their face after yet another abasing display. By the end of the first day, Australia had marched on to a score of 40 for no loss, trailing by a mere 149 in the first innings.

Let us take a look at what transpired on the first day of the second Border-Gavaskar Trophy Test

A big loss: Losing a key player comes across as a setback for all teams, and India s case was not much different on Saturday. At the toss, Kohli informed about Murali Vijay sustaining a shoulder injury which had ruled him out of the match. India drafted in the talented Abhinav Mukund in place of their injured batting star, but were found wanting for more within a few minutes after the game started. A BCCI press release stated Vijay sustained the injury whilst diving on an outstretched arm during the first Test in Pune . This is a similar injury which Vijay had faced during the series against England.

Abhinav Mukund s forgettable return: Mukund, playing his sixth Test for India, does not have more than a half-century to cherish if his career has to end today. In the first Test, he dropped two chances fielding as a substitute; one of them was a regulation catch. On Saturday, Mukund was presented with an opportunity ahead of the likes of Gautam Gambhir and Parthiv Patel. But Mukund could do very little to justify his selection, falling on yorker off Mitchell Starc in the third over of the innings. However, Mukund did create a record of sorts. He made his comeback after missing 56 Tests for India, becoming the only player after Parthiv (83) to miss 50 or more games.

Use your bat, captain?: Call it a brain-freeze moment for Kohli or law of averages catching up, but three poor scores from the run-machine has put India in deep trouble in this ongoing series. If it was an O Keefe delivery at Pune which took Kohli s off-stump on its way, Lyon found a lot to cheer about when India s premier batsman shouldered his arms on a delivery which struck him right outside leg and middle.

So far in this series, Kohli has been dismissed shouldering the arms twice and chasing one away which he ideally should have left alone. Three consecutive failures now leave Kohli with a grand total of 25 including a duck. Maybe, Kohli will use his bat more judiciously from now on.

Ajinkya Rahane s plight: India s vice-captain, who replaced the triple-centurion Karun Nair a couple of Tests ago, continues to have a torrid time on the field. After two soft dismissals in the first Test, better show was expected from Rahane who has been a champion batsman for India in adverse situations. With the likes of Kohli and Cheteshwar Pujara dismissed for cheap, India wanted their vice-captain to show similar gumption which he has done several times in the past. Unfortunately, Rahane was so far down his crease that even a fumble from Matthew Wade did not give him enough time to make it in before the stumps were broken. Obviously, off Lyon.

KL Rahul played a terrific innings of 90    IANS
KL Rahul played a terrific innings of 90 IANS

KL Rahul s brilliance: He showed sheer class, even though his 205-ball 90 was studded with two lifelines, which he got while batting on 30 and 61. Even Steven Smith needed a few reprieves in the first Test to get to his century, for that matter.

Rahul batted responsibly, to say the least. He was extremely disciplined outside off. He did not fall to the bat-pad ploy of Lyon, who made several deliveries turn and rise sharply into him. He drove with command, and defended with conviction. Most importantly, he did not look like advising the two batsmen who came up to him asking if they should use DRS. With Nair, his rotation of strike was top class.

As Harsha Bhogle once said, a few men in the history truly deserve a century which they do not get. Rahul saw his name being added in that long list.

Team India fails to keep Kohli s promise: Kohli promised intent, aggression and whatnot when India were pummelled by 333 runs at Pune. To the Indian captain, the loss did not hurt as much as their two collapses did, and Kohli promised that there will be no repeat of Pune-like performance.

India, defied their captain just in their next innings.

For the third time in this series, India failed to cross 200. If Rahul s 90 are taken out of India s total, the hosts do not even have 100 runs to show. This is not all; India failed to strike once in 16 overs when Australia had made a breakthrough inside three overs.

Lyon hunts down India: There have been naysayers, and there have been those who have absolutely admired Australia s greatest off-spinner. Lyon tore through India with old-fashioned off-spin, generating sharp turn and venomous bounce to leave the hosts tottering.

Lyon began the procession with the familiar bat-pad against Pujara. Kohli was trapped in front of middle and leg; Rahane and Karun Nair were stumped, beaten by pace as well as flight. The rest threw it away. But in between, Lyon kept producing deliveries that looked unplayable. He made it turn sharply into the right-handers. The seam pointed towards the leg-slip and the ball was given enough revs to make it turn, as well as bounce. It was truly a perfect day for Lyon and Australia.