Ind v Aus: O'Keefe skittles India’s hopes on Day 2

Steve O'Keefe played the role of a demolition man for Australia, as he ripped apart the famed Indian batting line-up to its worst ever seven-wicket collapse, with career best figures of 6/35.

Steve O'Keefe was not particularly threatening to the Indian batsmen, but credit to Steve Smith's who changed O'Keefe's bowling end and that yielded immediate results.   -  Reuters

 

Left-arm spinner Steve O'Keefe played the role of a demolition man for Australia, as he ripped apart the famed Indian batting line-up to its worst ever seven-wicket collapse, with career best figures of 6/35. India was bowled out for just 105, in reply to Australia's first innings total of 260, on Day 2 of the first Test match in Pune.

Full scorecard and ball-by-ball details

On a deteriorating pitch, the Australian bowlers showed their class. First, Josh Hazlewood got Murali Vijay to nick one behind, and then Mitchell Starc got the two in-form batsmen — Cheteshwar Pujara and Virat Kohli — in one over. Kohli was dismissed for a duck, his first in Test cricket since 2014.

K. L. Rahul was batting through agony, struggling with a stomach bug and then cramping his shoulder. He made 64, the only batsman to show some fight, but the Karnataka opener will be mightily disappointed with the way he threw away his wicket, playing an awful shot which wasn't required at that stage. He looked to heave one over long-off, but only managed to mis-time the ball and hole out to Warner. His dismissal started the collapse for India.

 

India went in to lunch at 70/3. O'Keefe was not particularly threatening to the Indian batsmen, but credit to Steve Smith who changed O'Keefe's bowling end and that yielded immediate results. O'Keefe got three wickets in the first over from the Hill End, and in 47 deliveries of madness, India lost seven wickets for just 11 runs. O'Keefe got six of those,giving away only five runs. The other spinner Lyon chipped in with one.

Australian openers — Warner and Marsh — looked to score some quick runs, but Ashwin accounted for both of them early.

Kohli looked for quick wickets as Ashwin and Jadeja went through their overs quickly. Ashwin bowled a 16-over spell, and dismissed Handscomb to get his third wicket.

Butter fingers

But a determined Smith wasn't ready to cave-in, and he was helped by India's poor fielding - he was dropped thrice. He was joined by an ailing Renshaw, who came out to bat at number 4 and didn't also take field as he was feeling nauseous. But the two combined for a crucial 52-run partnership. Renshaw struggled - throwing up and often going on his haunches between overs -,and then took one nasty hit on the elbow but still made a crucial contribution of 31.

Smith was then joined by Mitchell Marsh, and both of them started playing some shots, making maximum use of the tired minds and bodies of the Indian players. With the lead already at 298, Australia will be looking to consolidate its position on Saturday.

India might well have to bat out of its skin to save this one.