Australia vs India 2018-19: Time for Batsman Kohli to come to the rescue of Captain Kohli
Day 1 of the Perth Test was an utterly forgettable day for Captain Virat Kohli. His biggest blunder was the team selection. Unlike his Australian counterpart, who selected Nathan Lyon in his playing XI, Captain Kohli decided to go with an all-pace attack.
It did not take much time for everyone to see that it was a tactical blunder almost at par with the then England Captain Nasser Hussain’s decision to bowl first in that infamous Brisbane Test in 2002. One can only imagine his frustration at finding out the stark difference between the hype and reality regarding the nature of the pitch.
It is not often that you see a captain being dismayed at seeing the success of one of his bowlers. But it is plausible that frustration, and not elation, is what Kohli would have felt at the success of his fifth bowler. Hanuma Vihari’s part-time off-spin troubled Australian batsmen, more than the pace of most of India’s four frontline bowlers.
The effectiveness of a part-time spin bowler must have made Kohli realise not only the folly of leaving out his front-line spinner Ravindra Jadeja, but also surely made him apprehensive at the prospect of his batters facing a front-line spinner like Nathan Lyon who thrives on pitches that offer some bounce.
However, batsman Kohli will most certainly get a chance on day two to redeem captain Kohli. He has not scored many runs against Australia in the last few matches that he has played against them. He would have to score big in this match if India can come close to, or surpass Australia’s first innings total.
India will first have to take the remaining four Australian wickets quickly on day two. Unlike their Indian counterparts, the Australian lower order batsmen can all bat, and hence it’s likely that Australia will end with a score in the vicinity of 350. On this pitch, that could be a really imposing total.
Indian batsmen will have to live up to the challenge of the pitch and the Aussie bowlers. And their best batsman will have to lead from the front. However, if batsman Kohli too has a bad day at the office like Captain Kohli had on day one, this match may all but be over by the end of day two!