Succumbing to spin

The total is the fifth lowest for India at the Chinnaswamy Stadium; all of its low totals registered here earlier have resulted in defeats.

India's Karun Nair is stumped by Australia's wicketkeeper Mathew Wade off Steve o'Keefe on the first day of the second Test at the Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bengaluru.   -  PTI

The Indian batsmen seem to be unable to stem the rot against quality spin. For the third innings in a row, they were foxed by spinners on a turning track. It is early to make judgments, but given the statistics, it seems an uphill task for India to pull off a victory with its first-innings total of 189.

The total is the fifth lowest for India at the Chinnaswamy Stadium; all of its low totals registered here earlier have resulted in defeats. It is the ninth lowest (joint) for any team at the venue, and the fourth lowest in the first innings. None of the teams have made a comeback strong enough to go on to win except Pakistan, which bowled India out for 145 after being dismissed for 116.

At home, India has defeated oppositions after posting a low first-innings score on four occasions. The lowest was 104 when India posted a 13-run win over Australia in Mumbai in 2004. Australia had already clinched the series with two victories before the final Test, which turned out to be a low-scoring match as the pitch was a minefield of sorts.

Also against Australia, India had been dismissed for 152 in the first innings in Kanpur in 1959. Off-spinner Jasubhai Patel took 14 wickets in the match to help India win. India scored 156 against New Zealand 10 years later at the Brabourne Stadium in Mumbai, but went on to win as spinners Bishan Bedi and E. A. S. Prasanna ran through the opposition line-up in the fourth innings to skittle it for 127, chasing 188.

Against England in 1981, India scored 179 in the first innings but then bowled the opposition out for 166 (helped by left-arm spinner Dilip Doshi’s five wickets) en route to a 138-run victory.

As with most of its wins with low totals, India needs its spinners to overcome the obvious disadvantage suffered early in the contest. In Pune, it could not run through the opposition and paid the price; in Bengaluru, a failure to do that could result in another loss.

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