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India vs Australia 2017: Ravichandran Ashwin is going to run through Australia, believes KL Rahul

Opener reflects on India's horror batting show in opening day of Bengaluru Test.

Ravichandran Ashwin
Ashwin has not been in his usual form since the Mumbai Test against England

What’s the story?

Despite a horror show with the bat on the first day, opening batsman KL Rahul insists that India will bounce back in the second Test against Australia at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bengaluru. According to the 24-year old, the hosts back their spin duo of Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja to utilise the conducive conditions on offer and run through the opposition’s batting lineup.

Speaking to reporters at the end of day press conference, Rahul declared, “The cracks are opening up and it’s only getting harder to bat on this wicket. We know Ash (Ashwin) is a top-class bowler and once he gets a couple of wickets and gets into that rhythm then he is going to run through the Australian batting line-up which we are very confident of.”

“Jadeja didn’t get to bowl a lot today but like Lyon, he too has a lot of rough for the left-handers outside the off-stump and if he can come in and bowl consistently on the rough we will get a lot of wickets.”

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After winning the toss on what was expected to be a batting-friendly pitch, India managed to bat only 71.2 overs and capsized to 189. Having top-scored with a stubborn 205-ball 90, Rahul was the penultimate man out.

Off-spinner Nathan Lyon applied plenty of revolutions on the ball and generated some extra bounce to relentlessly trouble the home side’s batting unit. He even managed to break the all-time record for the best figures by a visiting bowler on Indian soil. 

Extra Cover: Stats – Nathan Lyon becomes Australia's all-time highest Test wicket-taker against India

The heart of the matter

Although the surface was not easy to bat on, India’s batsmen only made matters worse for themselves with indecisive footwork and extravagant shots. While skipper Virat Kohli paid the price for a hasty leave, Ajinkya Rahane and Karun Nair were stumped after deciding to charge down the track. However, Rahul attributed the two dismissals to the team’s game plan to take the attack to the Australian spinners.

Upon seeing his partners fall one by one, a dispirited Rahul was caught in two minds by Lyon. Despite not getting himself into any position to play the cover drive, the elegant right-hander’s error in timing ended his valuable knock. If not for him trying to anchor the innings, India’s scorecard would have looked very ugly.

Sportskeeda’s take

With the visitors already cruising to 40/0, the opening session on the second day is extremely vital for India. If they do not pick up early wickets, the Australian batsmen will quickly put the game beyond their reach. Even though Ashwin has not been in his usual form of late, he is still the top-ranked Test bowler in the world. The onus will be on the Tamil Nadu off-spinner and his spin partner Jadeja to pull the hosts back into the contest.

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