Former opener Aakash Chopra has opined that India's conservative approach to batting in the first couple of sessions has set them back in the Adelaide Test match against Australia.
He made this observation while reviewing the first day's play of the Border-Gavaskar Trophy in a video shared on his Facebook page.
Aakash Chopra started by pointing out that India did not get off to the most auspicious of starts, as Prithvi Shaw lost his wicket to just the second delivery of the encounter.
"India did not get off to a good start. There will be question marks about Prithvi Shaw's technique. The foot was in the air and he was late on the ball."
The reputed commentator observed Cheteshwar Pujara was his usual solid self and tired out the Australian bowlers.
"Cheteshwar Pujara comes to the crease and does the same thing that he has done a lot of times before. He had not batted for around 10 months but made up for it here itself. He bored the opposition team."
Aakash Chopra reckoned that the relatively inexperienced Mayank Agarwal might have got a little anxious after being denied the strike and was dismissed by a Pat Cummins in-dipper.
"But Mayank Agarwal was not getting the strike and sometimes you get fidgety. He is also just an eleven Test match-old player. It is not a Virender Sehwag or Sunil Gavaskar who has gone there."
"We had a lot of expectations from him but we have to give him the allowance that things can go wrong. He got out to an outstanding delivery from Pat Cummins."
Aakash Chopra highlighted India batted at a snail's pace in the first session of play.
"The game went very slowly in the first session. India scored just the 41 runs and lost two wickets, which means you are not ahead in the game and the scoring rate will play in your mind."
Talking about the second session, Aakash Chopra lauded Nathan Lyon for extracting appreciable turn and bounce from the first day's pitch. The off-spinner would have got rid of Virat Kohli if the Aussies had taken the review for a catch behind the stumps.
"Spin was introduced early in the second session. You need to appreciate Nathan Lyon for the way he bowled on the first-day pitch. If they had taken the DRS, Kohli's knock would have been over there itself."
Aakash Chopra observed that while India did score a decent sixty-six runs in the second session while losing Pujara's wicket, they were behind the eight ball if one was to consider the first two sessions in unison.
"India made 66 runs in the second session but because only 41 were scored in the first session, the total runs were only 107 in two sessions and the twilight period was yet to come. Cheteshwar Pujara got out to a catch of an inside-edge that hit his pad and looped in the air."
Aakash Chopra's views on the final session's play
Aakash Chopra pointed out that India made a positive start to the final session, with Ajinkya Rahane and Virat Kohli dominating the Aussie bowlers and looking well-established in the middle.
"India started the third session well. Ajinkya Rahane looked a little aggressive. Virat Kohli got to his fifty and he was looking well in control. The new ball was a little away and both the batsmen were set."
Aakash Chopra highlighted that the entire scenario changed when India lost three wickets in less than seven overs, starting with Virat Kohli's run-out.
"But then Rahane threw his partner down the river. He was very very apologetic. But there was no point of repenting as Kohli was out. And after two-three overs the new ball came and Rahane was out immediately. After that Vihari also got out. So within 40-50 minutes of the run out, India lost three wickets."
Aakash Chopra signed off by stating that although the Indian captain's dismissal might have changed the complexion of the game, it was their timid approach with the bat in the first couple of sessions that put them on the backfoot in the game.
"The main reason for India being pushed behind we will say is the run out but for me is their slow batting in the first two sessions."
While India could have been a little more aggressive in the first two sessions, the tight lines and lengths bowled by the Aussie bowlers kept them on a tight leash. The loss of Prithvi Shaw and Mayank Agarwal with not too many runs on the board also forced India to take a subdued approach.
Published 17 Dec 2020, 21:14 IST