India v Australia, 1st Test, Pune, 2nd day February 24, 2017

We haven't adapted well to the surface - Kumble

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'You are bound to have one bad day' - Kumble

"There is always a first time," Anil Kumble said when reminded of the ask in front of them. Australia lead them by 298 runs with six wickets in hand after having bowled them out for 105 in the first innings. Only five times has 300 been scored in the fourth innings in India, and the highest chase accomplished is 387. And this is not just any Indian pitch, this is a pitch where dust flew when David Warner scratched his guard on day one. By all means, India need a miracle to experience a "first", but Kumble was hopeful they could do it.

"We would like to restrict them to as little as possible," Kumble said. "We dropped a few catches. It has hurt us in the past, especially in this game you need to hold your chances even if they are half chances. We dropped Steven Smith on a couple of occasions, that has certainly pushed us back. Hopefully tomorrow morning we can pick up a few early wickets and then put the pressure back on them."

Kumble, though, felt India let the game slip away before the dropped chances in the second innings. "It's a surface where you needed to adapt," Kumble said. "We didn't adapt really well. Probably if you look at yesterday, the first 80 runs in the first session and the last 60 runs for the last wicket, that slightly took us away from what we were wanting to restrict Australia to."

Kumble said India could have shown more restraint with the bat. "You are bound to have one bad day," Kumble said. "It was disappointing. We were in a pretty decent position when [KL] Rahul and Ajinkya [Rahane] were batting out there. But once Rahul got out, we lost those four wickets in five or six balls. That certainty pushed us back. You are bound to have a bad day.

"One of those things where a couple of soft dismissals. And this pitch was certainly challenging, so we needed a lot more restraint and showed that if you put your head down, you could make those runs. It was unfortunate that once Rahul got out, we seemed to lose the bearing at that point of time."

Rahul and Rahane had helped India recover from 44 for 3 with a 50-run partnership. Rahul played an excellent innings, but most of it under duress. He seemed unwell, and to make it worse he dislocated his shoulder while hitting a six. When he went to hit another six later in his innings, the shoulder popped out again and a big outside edge settled with long-off. An almighty collapsed followed, and India went from 94 for 3 to 105 all out.

Kumble was asked if the injury led to Rahul's shot. Even in the lead-up, he seemed to be throwing his bat around. It could have been possible that Rahul wanted to get as many as he could before it got too uncomfortable. "I think the shot created the injury, not just to him but even to the team," Kumble joked, making it clear discomfort was not behind the shot.

There was good news for India. Towards stumps, Rahul came back on the field after substitute Abhinav Mukund had dropped two catches, one a difficult grab at mid-on and the other a more regulation offering at bat-pad.

"He hurt his shoulder a little bit," Kumble said. "It came off a little bit while he was batting. So we had to take some care there, this is more a precaution. He seems okay now. He was back in the field for the last couple of overs. He should be okay for tomorrow. We will have to see how he responds. Usually this kind of injury take 24 hours before it resurfaces. So we are hoping he will be fine tomorrow morning."

Kumble was asked if Rahul's dismissal was the turning point. "In hindsight, yes," he said. "You need to play your shots on this type of wicket. You couldn't really blame the batsman. In hindsight he could have held back. After that, that was the start of things to happen. It was unfortunate we had a poor day. The lower order has contributed to us exceptionally in the past and today was not our day."

Sidharth Monga is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • saffa79 on February 27, 2017, 16:49 GMT

    First of all as a saffa its tough to root for AUS but not so much against IND. well done great win. not to take anything away from smith cause he batted great but none of these comments mention that he was super licky and droped liked 5 times. India feels and rightly so that creating wicket that suit only 1 discipline (spin bowling) and IMHO take the skill out of batting will ensure they win a high percentage of games at home. The only peopple that make 50 runs if the spin bowling is semi decent on these sort of wickets are either lucky (smith) or simply take on the boundry rope (Stark) or both. Batting first is a huge advantage and ensuring your bowlers let the pitch do all the work is the game plan. In my opinion the young openner was the best batter in this match even though the run totals dont depict that. Next pitch will be interesting but i expect the same because IND will always favorate on pitches set up for Ashwin and co and a poor bat vs ball contest. Hope AUS wins good luck

  •   cricfan27280402 on February 26, 2017, 11:53 GMT

    I dont understand, what Rahane and Ishant are doing in the team.

  • JJJake on February 25, 2017, 20:04 GMT

    Kohli faced under 40 balls for that match and was out 3 times. Smith has scored 5 centuries in his last 5 games against India. It's clear who is the best player. India has never won a Test series in Australia and it looks like Australia will rack up their 5th in India. And 13 in the Subcontinent.

  • cricfan66563053 on February 25, 2017, 16:49 GMT

    Jumbo sir..! Please speak to curator next time for not to lay dustbowl rank turning wicket. Coz team india cannot survive on such surfaces.Cant you see team has collapsed twice for 105

  • LALITHKURUWITA on February 25, 2017, 12:41 GMT

    Ind is foxed by O'Keefe. I do not agree with Kumble that It is just a bad day. All 3 days were bad. There is no improvement in the second innings either. I did not see any fighting spirit in Indian camp. What I say Aus are superior than Ind in every department in this match. Kumble, please accept it. But you and the team can come back and win the next 3 matches.

  • JJJake on February 25, 2017, 10:42 GMT

    Smith now has 5 consecutive 100s against Indian. India can't win in Australia and can't win at home. Australia has won 4 test series in Indian and coming up to number 5. India has never won in Australia

  • Zulu.Zeitgeist on February 25, 2017, 9:02 GMT

    Kohli, arguably the best batsman in the world cricket today across all three formats loses his wicket twice - 0 (2 Balls) to Starc (Ranked 10) and then for 13 (37 Balls) to O'Keefe who is ranked 62 on a rank turner, prepared to assist India. Now that is 13 runs in 39 balls. Then you have Smith, ridiculed and mocked by Jadeja for his eccentric routine at the wicket who scores 136 of 299 balls facing the No. 1 and 2 bowlers in the world on a pitch that was meant to suit their craft. This round goes to Smith.

    Kohli's batting pedigree is not in question. We all know he will come back with a vengeance in the next test and put a high price on his wicket. But for once, at least for this test, the ICC Rankings show Smith leads Kohli in application and temperament. How one goes about scoring and preserving their wicket is more important for their team than how belligerent they are and how aesthetically pleasing their play.

    Pure and simple. Kohli let down his team and his nation. Sad.

  • HDG1978 on February 25, 2017, 8:15 GMT

    Kumble should just shut up and as coach focus on tweaking the flawed team strategy of playing just 5 batsmen as 4 front line bowlers are sufficient for India to pick 20 wickets in home Tests.India can even opt to play 3 spinners + 1 pacer(Umesh on current form) or 2 pacers+2 spinners.When Kohli saw the pitch as a turner,Rahane should have been the 1st to be dropped.Hope to see Rohit(if fit) and Nair with India playing 6 batsmen in Bangalore. Ishant bowled well against weaker opposition in Bangladesh at Hyderabad but a wicket less Test with just 14 overs over 2 Aussie innings hints at a spot wasted in the playing XI.@MILEPOST This reality check was necessary for India to revisit the drawing board to iron out flawed team selection strategies but this young team under Kohli is resilient enough to bounce back & take this series 2-1.Never expected a 4-0 scoreline in India's favor as this batting line-up does not have the same class as the team in 2012-13 which included Tendulkar & Sehwag.

  • krishna_cricketfan on February 25, 2017, 8:13 GMT

    When will India learn that a pitch turning from day one is not good for them? Turning pitch, 2 medium to top class spinner India loses. Somehow India thinks they are the best when it comes to playing spinners. Yes if the pitch is sporting one. No if the pitch is square turner. My sympathies are with the batsman now. It is just not easy to play in such a pitch as this one in Pune. Hope a sporting pitch is prepared for the next 3 tests and India win in them.

  • BRADMANBESTEVER on February 25, 2017, 8:04 GMT

    Yeah the old whitewash is looking good. India have played poorly because they are too overconfident and underestimated the Aussies

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