Wriddhiman Saha was dismissed while playing an aggressive stroke
Rohit Sharma disppointed once again as questions will now be asked about his temperament ©Getty Images

India lost to Australia in the first Test at the Adelaide Oval by 48 runs on an exciting final day. Virat Kohli’s twin tons were in vain as Nathan Lyon spun his team to victory. Through the Test, India made a few critical errors that cost them, none more compelling than the poor shot selection in the final session. Nishad Pai Vaidya picks the blunders that cost India the game.

Karn Sharma’s selection: On the first morning, India surprised everyone by handing a Test cap to Karn Sharma. The leggie made a name for himself in the Indian Premier League (IPL), but is he appropriate for Test cricket? While his First-Class bowling average was 28.87 coming into this game, the fact that he had taken only 66 wickets in 34 matches shows that he isn’t a wicket-taker. India opted for him ahead of Ravichandran Ashwin, who, in hindsight, could have been a handful on this wicket given Nathan Lyon’s exploits.Karn did manage to take a few wickets, but it was more the case of batsmen going after him and ending up gifting their wickets to the debutant.

Bowling wide to David Warner: On Day One, the Indian pacers came up with a plan to attack the two left-handed Australian openers from around the wicket. However, their execution was found wanting. Mohammed Shami and Varun Aaron made the mistake of bowling too wide and David Warner latched onto it mercilessly. He sped away to 35 from 17 balls and was unstoppable thereafter. The early momentum worked wonders for Australia and they stamped their authority.

Not attacking on second morning: Some late wickets on Day One helped India claw back a touch. But on Day Two, they did not latch on to the opportunity to attack. Instead, the bowlers continued to spray it around and allowed Michael Clarke and Steven Smith to make merry. The batsmen were fed with ‘hit me’ deliveries.

Virat Kohli’s dismissal late on Day Three: India were looking good in the first innings at 367 for four late on Day Three up against Australia’s 517 for seven. Virat Kohli was in control on 115 but a short ball from Mitchell Johnson enticed him to play an uncontrolled hook shot, which was taken in the deep. Kohli’s dismissal gave Australia a foot in the door. India only managed 77 more runs and were bowled out for 444 the next day, giving Australia a 73-run lead.

Bowling combinations in second innings: India had brought in  Shami and Ishant Sharma with the new ball. They brought in Karn early, who continued to be picked for runs. In fact, he narrowly missed out on becoming the first Indian to concede over 100 runs in both innings on Test debut. Aaron was only brought on after the 30th over and his spell did bring some life into the attack. Though he too was wayward through the game, it may have been wiser to bring him on earlier.

Poor shot selection: With Kohli batting brilliantly on Day Five, it was only a matter of the others holding fort and giving him support. Murali Vijay batted brilliantly, but was very edgy and tentative in the late  90s. Vijay could be forgiven given the fact that he did his job well. On the other hand, Rohit Sharma and Wriddhiman Saha’s shots were poor. Rohit was unconvincing through his stay in the middle and prodded at the ball when it was pitched in the rough. Saha had hit a six and four, and was dismissed when he went on to play another. In fact, Shami’s shot was also careless as he played it to mid-off. One cannot expect a lot from tailenders, but Shami could have done better than that.

(Nishad Pai Vaidya is a Correspondent with CricketCountry and anchor for the site’s YouTube Channel. His Twitter handle is @nishad_45)