India fell to lowest-ever innings total in its 82-year Test cricket history as Virat Kohli-led side ended at 36 for nine in second innings against an inspired Australia in the first Test match at the Adelaide Oval today.
India’s earlier lowest score was 42 at the Lord’s in 1974 against England, known in Indian cricket parlance as “Summer of 42”.
To make matters worse, star pacer Mohammed Shami’s series could well be over due to a wrist injury from a short ball from Pat Cummins, which could potentially be a fracture.
Shami could not continue and the Indian innings was terminated at 36 for 9 in 21.2 overs.
Mohammed Shami, the No. 11 batsman, retired hurt and could not bat.
Australia now need 90 runs to win the first Test and take 1-0 after India had taken a 53-run lead in first innings.
India, who began at the overnight score of nine for one, had a nightmarish start when they lost four wickets at the team total of 15 and then four runs later at 19 lost their sixth wicket in the form of skipper, Virat Kohli.
They then lost Saha and R Ashwin on successive deliveries to be 26 for eight. Hanuma Vihari then scored a four and got a single to get India clear of the three lowest scores in Test history, 26 by New Zealand and 30 twice by South Africa.
However, Vihari fell as the ninth batsman at the team score of 31.
Earlier, India lost four wickets fell on 15. Overnight batsman Jasprit Bumrah, who had walked in as nightwatchman on Friday was caught and bowled by Pat Cummins off a change of pace. Then Cheteshwar Pujara was caught behind off Cummins’s delivery that moved just a bit as the India No. 3 fell for an eight-ball duck.
Josh Hazlewood then got two wickets in one over as he removed opener Mayank Agarwal, getting him caught behind off his first ball and followed it up with the wicket of Ajinkya Rahane, who was also caught behind for a four-ball duck.
Skipper Kohli got a four towards third man but was soon after caught at gully by Cameron Green off Cummins.
The carnage by Aussies saw India lose five wickets for four runs in 5.4 overs.
The four-match series between India and Australia is also known as Border-Gavaskar Trophy, currently held by India. The India versus Australia series is also a part of ICC World Test Championship (WTC), the final of which will be played in June 2021 at the Lord’s cricket ground in London.
The top two teams on ICC WTC points table will qualify for the finals.India need to win this series to keep its hopes alive for the big final at Lord’s.