New Delhi: India managed to bowl out Australia in the first session on Day 3 of the second Test at Bengaluru, restricting the damage that could have been done by the lower order. The fact that India didn't let the tail wag was down to the guile of one man, Ravindra Jadeja, who was on the money with his left-arm orthodox spin.
By the time Jadeja sent back last man Josh Hazlewood for 1, the Aussies had taken their lead up to 87 runs. Jadeja's figures were an impressive 6/63 in 21.1 overs. The left-arm spinner's performance stands out even more when you look at the figures of the other recognised bowlers, all of whom bowled more overs than him.
While Umesh Yadav (24 overs) and Ishant Sharma (27 overs) bowled exceedingly well on a track that didn't offer a lot of help to seamers and were unlucky to not get more results for their efforts, the same can't be said about India's premier spinner Ravichandran Ashwin, who at times looked out of sorts and out of ideas.
While we know that the off-spinner loves bowling long spells, but that shouldn't be allowed if it is not producing results. At the end of second day's play R Ashwin had bowled 40 overs picking up just 1 wicket at the cost of 75 runs. Ravindra Jadeja on the other hand had bowled 17 overs, picking up 3 wickets by giving away 49 runs.
A look at the figures of the two bowlers would convey easily as to who had an upper hand over the Australian batsmen. But despite Jadeja's impressive show on the second day, Virat Kohli opened the bowling on Day 3 with R Ashwin and Ishant Sharma with the hosts bowling as many as 9 overs before Jadeja was introduced into the attack. As a result, Matthew Wade and Mitchell Starc milked another 32 runs to take Australia's lead close to 80 runs.
While Ashwin did pick up Starc's wicket, it was Jadeja again who picked three crucial wickets to wipe out the tail. So clearly, Virat Kohli has a few captaincy lessons to learn from this Test irrespective of the result of the match.