He made this observation while reviewing Day 1 of the Adelaide Test on the Sony Sports network.
Zaheer Khan responded in the affirmative when asked if the day's play had shown that the game can change in a day-night encounter in the last fifteen overs. He added India losing the well-set Virat Kohli and Ajinkya Rahane in a matter of few deliveries will hurt them badly.
"Absolutely, if two wickets fall quickly and in that if one is a run out, then it will definitely hurt. I feel something like that happened with the Indian team."
Zaheer Khan observed Virat Kohli's run-out due to an unfortunate mix-up with Ajinkya Rahane altered the course of the game. He reasoned that India did not have the luxury of a couple of set batsmen at the crease to counter the threat of the new ball.
"A very good partnership was going on. The timing of the wicket, it happened just before the new ball became available, that had a huge impact. Because we wanted the set batsmen playing with the new ball."
Zaheer Khan believes India has lost a couple of wickets too many
Zaheer Khan believes India losing six wickets by the end of the day has put them on the back foot.
"It was okay if India had lost just the four wickets today, the two wickets that fell extra, might make a difference."
The left-arm pacer highlighted teams are generally fine even if they lose five wickets in a day's play as long as they are score at the rate of three runs an over.
"Because when you talk about Test cricket, you feel that you should make runs at least at three runs per over. So, if you see that way if you have 270-280 runs and even if you lose five wickets, then it is fine."
Zaheer Khan pointed out that India would have preferred to have lost just the four wickets as they scored just 233 runs in the day's play.
"But now you are 50-60 runs behind the game, so when you are behind the game you need those wickets in hand to make the game even."
Zaheer Khan signed off by observing Australia would be the happier team at the end of the first day, with India coming up short at crucial moments of the game.
"I feel at close of play, the Australian team will be thinking that they ended the day well and have made a good comeback in the game and the Indian team will be thinking that they let go of an opportunity, that they couldn't win the important situations in the game. So, it is possible that India will go back disappointed."
The Indian team was comfortably placed at a score of 188/3, with Virat Kohli and Ajnkya Rahane having put together an 88-run partnership for the fourth wicket. But the Indian captain was run out after a horrible mix-up with his deputy off the final delivery of the 77th over.
Australia then got rid of Ajinkya Rahane and Hanuma Vihari with the new ball to gain the ascendancy, and India ended the first day at a score of 233/6.
Published 17 Dec 2020, 21:21 IST