What’s the story?
Former Australian captain Michael Clarke was not pleased with India’s tactics against Nathan Lyon during the second session on day two of the fourth Test between India and Australia at Dharamsala. He believes that if India does go on to lose the game, that would be where they lost it.
Clarke, who is currently commentating on the series for Star Sports spoke about India's tactics that might go on to hurt them in the end. Speaking about India’s approach in the post-lunch session on day two, Michael Clarke said: “If India do lose this Test match, I’ll tell you where they lost it – it's 30 minutes before tea today, on day two. It was so negative with their batting. Australia bowled spin from both ends, (India's batsmen) sat on the crease and blocked and blocked and blocked. If you sit there to someone like Nathan Lyon who does get that extra bounce, and can get the variation, you'll get one with your name on it.
Although he added that batting last was going to be tricky and that a decent lead will put India in a good position, he was quick to point out that quick wickets will only put the incoming batsman under enormous pressure.
In case you didn’t know...
After KL Rahul’s dismissal to a top-edged pull shot, Cheteshwar Pujara and Ajinkya Rahane, two of India’s pillars in the Test side were at the crease. After settling in, the pair added just 13 runs from the last 10 overs of the afternoon session as they went into Tea still 147 runs behind.
The heart of the matter
Pujara and Rahane didn't rotate the strike as much as they should have and their approach before Tea was one that was a bit puzzling to Clarke, who was on commentary before Tea after both batsmen had got themselves in.
After getting into his rhythm, Nathan Lyon then did the damage after tea as he first dismissed Pujara before accounting for Rahane as well. Although Ravichandran Ashwin tried to press the accelerator and was involved in a counter-attacking stand with the stand-in skipper, he too was accounted for by Lyon, who finished with four wickets of the six wickets that had fallen in the Indian innings.
With India still trailing by 52 runs going into day three and just four wickets in hand, the Test and the series is still in the balance. It remains to be seen which way the Dharamsala Test will go.
While it is true that India did linger during the post-lunch session, the wicket was by no means the easiest to bat on and Australia did a good job of keeping things tight. But as evident from the partnership between Ashwin and Rahane and how Jadeja played towards the end of the day, it seems as though India realized that they needed to be more pro-active if they are to claim the series.