Australia suffered its second loss in 16 games during the current World Test Championship cycle when it was comprehensively defeated by India by an innings and 132 runs over the course of three days in Nagpur. According to Australia's captain Pat Cummins, a lot of it had to do with how good Indian spinners were, and in the three remaining Test matches, Australian batsmen will need to develop better strategies to deal with players like R Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja.
Australia chose to bat, and India bowled them out for 177 in the first innings thanks to Jadeja's 11th Test five-wicket haul. India's response was spearheaded by Rohit Sharma's century, and with contributions from Axar Patel and Jadeja, the hosts produced an impressive 400 to take a commanding lead. India required just 32.3 overs to dismiss Australia for 91 runs in the second innings, with Ashwin scooping up his 25th wicket to tie Anil Kumble's record. Steven Smith's unbeaten 25 was the lone defiant innings.
"A lot of it was excellent bowling from two experts in their field who bowled superbly on fresh legs. Having said that, I don't anticipate many changes in the upcoming games. We'll be up against it, so we need to devise stronger strategies. At times, you may have seen Smithy and Alex Carey put the onus back on the bowlers. It requires some boldness, and it's easier said than done, in my opinion "At the Saturday post-game press conference, Cummins remarked (February 11).
If the bowler is good and you are simply facing balls after balls, Cummins predicted that you would eventually receive one with your name on it. "That will once more be the topic of discussion this week. What will we do differently if the same conditions and bowlers appear? I believe being more proactive is sometimes necessary."
Australia's lowest second innings total against India was 91 all-out, and it was also India's third-largest innings victory over Australia. Although Australia's batting issues were underlined by Marnus Labuschagne's 49, the highest score for Australia over two innings, Cummins stated this loss was far simpler to accept than closer losses.
"I believe that sometimes these kinds of losses are almost simpler to go behind. You must examine your strategy carefully and make the significant changes you need to make to improve your chances of winning next week because the margins are so narrow. The past 12 months have been extremely successful for us. There haven't been many defeats in there. I don't think we need to invent the wheel; we just need to modify various strategies for playing and perhaps specific tactics."
Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazlewood, and Cameron Green were unavailable for Australia because they were all recovering from separate ailments. Hazlewood will not play in the second Test in Delhi, which begins on February 17, according to Cummins, who is optimistic about Green's return to the starting lineup.
"Starcy lands in Delhi today or tomorrow. Joshy might not be fully prepared for Delhi, in my opinion. He's starting to move around and is getting close, but I don't think he'll be completely prepared for Delhi. Wait and see with Greeny a little bit. He's got a few solid hits out here, so we're still holding out hope that he'll come back. He is bowling fairly well; we will evaluate it over the following few days."
Peter Handscomb was chosen over the talented Travis Head, according to Cummins, who also added: "It was unquestionably our strongest XI this week, we felt. We are aware of Trav's abilities. Although he plays a significant role on this team, we have faith in the other 11 players. He has been terrific in the group. As usual, he has been putting a lot of effort into improving his game."
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