The spectators at Adelaide Oval witnessed something truly remarkable on Saturday afternoon.
After Australia’s bowlers rolled the touring Indians in sunny conditions for 36, the unproven opening pair of Joe Burns and Matthew Wade passed their opposition’s total in less than 10 overs without loss before Australia chased the required 90 runs just two wickets down.
Australia’s pace attack was flawless, with Josh Hazlewood and Pat Cummins embarrassing the Indian batsmen with their relentless accuracy.
But the bowling masterclass masked Australia’s substandard batting display on day two, which was quickly forgotten as Indian wickets tumbled the following afternoon.
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The hosts were at one stage 7/111 in Adelaide, and the situation could have been significantly worse if not for a series of dropped catches from the Indian fielders.
Steve Smith was removed for his lowest Test score in four years, Travis Head’s dismissal once again exposed his lack of patience, and Cameron Green failed to live up to the immense media hype.
Meanwhile, the concerns around the Australian openers is well-documented, and even golden boy Marnus Labuschagne was dropped three times before he reached 20.
If not for the heroics of Hazlewood and Cummins, Australia’s woeful batting would have dominated headlines this week.
Speaking to The Age’s Daniel Cherny, former Indian captain Kris Srikkanth provided a blunt assessment of Australia’s current batting attack.
“The Aussies’ batting is not great,” Srikkanth claimed.
“My belief is the Aussies’ batting is 30 per cent (David) Warner, 30 per cent Smith, all others put together is 30 per cent. But the bowling is very good.
“The Australian batting is not very strong.”
Srikkanth is potentially referring to the 2018/19 Border-Gavaskar series, where the absence of Warner and Smith was painfully apparent.
Without their two powerhouse batsmen, no Australia batsman was able to muster a century in the four-Test series, and Tim Paine’s men suffered a historic 2-1 defeat on home soil.
However, the depth of India’s batting is also set to be tested in Melbourne this week, with the tourists fielding a starting XI without Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma.
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Srikkanth conceded there was room for improvement within India’s Test side as well.
“I think Virat summed it up very well when he said the positive intent was missing. They went into more of a shell, the Indians,” Srikkanth said.
“The mindset I think was too defensive. They have to regroup. They have to have a bit more positive intent. The best way is just to go for it.
“But when you miss King Kohli, it’s going to make it difficult let’s be honest … but I’m sure they’ll come out and fight.”
Srikkanth played 43 Tests and 146 ODIs for India, plundering 6153 international runs.