There is hardly a fraction of a second to react when a batsman is drawn towards the front foot and the blind spot is created. And if the ball deviates away from the bat and bounces from that blind spot, even the best of batsman in the world can get out.
In other words, you don’t have to be an Indian cricketer to get out to deliveries pitched outside the off-stump and moving towards third or fourth stump. And that was the accuracy level of Australian pacers Josh Hazlewood and Pat Cummins in Adelaide, who ran through the Indian line-up like a knife through butter.
Between the eighth and 21st overs, the Indian batsmen had little idea of what was happening. They didn't offer proper footwork, and fell victim to the blind spot that has existed in cricket since its inception. The entire top order was clueless against the force that was the Australian pace duo,.
Sure, the pattern of dismissals against away going deliveries on bouncy track isn’t new to the Indian team. But the consistency with which the Aussies bowled was amazing; they didn't give away a single loose delivery on the pads or square of the wicket. They just kept bowling in that corridor of uncertainty, repeatedly creating the blind spot for the batsmen.
When you pitch the ball short of a length and push the batsman on the back foot, it actually helps the batsman because he gets more time to watch the ball. But if the ball gets you on to the front foot, the bowler always has a greater chance of beating your defenses.
Of course, neither Josh Hazlewood nor Pat Cummins is certain to produce another such spell in Melbourne; the glorious uncertainty of the game can throw open any possibility. But India definitely need to get out of their funk as soon as possible, and maybe even treat this second innings performance as a bad dream.
Without regular captain Virat Kohli, it is going to be even tougher for the visitors to regain their bearings. But if India can come out all guns blazing in Melbourne, without thinking too much about the blind spot, they could still make something out of this series.
The best way to move past disappointment is to just go out there and strike the ball without thinking too much about the result. The best way to stay relevant is to stay on top of the red cherry. And hey, at least there won't be a pink ball this time.Published 21 Dec 2020, 12:18 IST