PUNE : Pundits and pretenders predicting a whitewash of Australia were left looking for records of India’s biggest defeats after the premature end to the first Test.
But then, what happened in Pune was a combination of several unforeseen factors. Nature of the pitch, capitulation of batsmen accustomed to such strips and Australians looking more at home than the Indians, with unheralded left-arm spinner Steve O’Keefe taking 6/35 in both innings — there were several.
If Virat Kohli blamed “poor application” for the end of India’s 19-Test unbeaten run under him, Steve Smith was candid enough to say the home team’s ploy backfired. The MCA Stadium was getting ready for an even surface. Plans changed after the Indian team asked for “home advantage”.
Those associated with preparing pitches in India felt if the idea of a turning track was right, the execution wasn’t.