PUNE: India entered the four-test series as hot favorite, unbeaten in its last 20 tests on home soil and playing against an Australia lineup which had lost its last nine tests in Asia.The pitch prepared in Pune, hosting its first ever test, appeared to be ideal for India's three-pronged spin attack. But it was the Australians who made better use of it in the first innings.
Steve O'Keefe was the main orchestrator in reducing India to a paltry total of 105 in the first innings of the first Test match played in Pune. O'Keefe registered his career-best figures of 6 for 35 which was also his first five-wicket haul that had the Indians looking for cover in the second day's play. He found the edge in a pitch whuich is turning squre, constantly and simised KL rahul, Ajinkya Rahahne and Qeiddhiman Saha in matter of six balls that had reduced the hostes from 94 for 3 to 95 for 6. But the Aussi left-arm spinner reckoned that they were lucky t find the edge constantly while the visitors layed and missed on numerous occasions.
"Its amazing how things can quickely change over here. I was none for 30 off nine overs, probably didn't bowl very well at all in my first six overs. And then, it all just happned really quick, and I guess that's the sort of wicket it is.said O'Keefe.
The 32 year old didn't forget to mention that India can still fight back in the remaining three days of the Test match.
"It hasn't really sunk in yet. It will, if that contributes to a win. Right now, we'll enjoy we had a good day, but that's all it is. It was a good day's cricket. We all know how good this Indian team is, how well they can bat, and even in spinning conditions they are exceptional players.
"They're all match winnerts, they're top seven, you'd even argue with Jadea, the top 8, so we have our work for us. We are 300 ahead, let's get more and lets's create 10 chances tomorrow and hold on to it," he said.
O'Keefe's previous best bowling figures were 3-53 against Pakistan in Sydney a month ago."I messed up my opportunity on the Sri Lankan tour, and I thought the Indian tour was out of reach," O'Keefe said. "But I gave up on some Big Bash League cricket and worked on the red ball. The inputs from Monty Panesar and spin coach Sridharan Sriram have been very valuable, and instilled belief in what I am doing."
WhileAustralia's Steeve Smith rode his luck in scoring 59 not out in the Second innings against India to extend Australia's lead to 298 on day two of the first cricket test on Friday.Smith scored at mid-on, short leg, and leg gully, en route to his 2st half century off 93 balls .Smith was dropped three times, and at stumps Australia was 143-4 after a stunning day in which 16 wickets fell.
India was bowled out for 105 in the first innings from 93-3, a record collapse triggered by the Left-arm spinner Steve O'Keefe's career-best 6-35.
Virath Kohli was out for a duck, his first in home test, and India cancled a 155-run lead. Kohli's previous four innings vs Australia in Tests were – 169 & 54 at Melbourne and 147 & 46 at Sydney in the 2014-15 serie
The 7-wickets-for-12runs collapse was a record for India in test Cricket, worse than the 7-18 against New Zealand in Christchurch in 1990.
Besides Smith at the end of the day was Mitchel Marsh on 21. In eight Tests vs India, Marsh is averaging only 20.50 – his tally being 287 runs in 14 innings, including two fifties.
In all, O'Keefe's performance is the third best by a visiting left-arm spinner in Tests in India. England's Hedley Verity remains the only bowler to bag seven wickets – 7 for 49 off 23.5 overs at Chennai in February 1934.
India entered the four-test series as hot favorite, unbeaten in its last 20 tests on home soil and playing against an Australia lineup which had lost its last nine tests in Asia.The pitch prepared in Pune, hosting its first ever test, appeared to be ideal for India's three-pronged spin attack. But it was the Australians who made better use of it in the first innings.