Nathan Lyon was the star of the show in Bengaluru on Saturday as the spinner picked up eight wickets to help Australia dominate Day 1 of the second Test against India. Lyon’s 8/50 helped the visitors bowl out India for 189 before they ended the day at 40 for no loss, trailing India by 149 runs. Lyon picked up his eighth five-wicket haul in Tests which also turned out to be his career best figures, in the process also becoming the highest wicket-taker for Australia against India in Tests, overtaking Brett Lee.
Lee has 53 scalps from 12 Tests against India while Lyon now has 58 from the same number of matches.
Resuming at 168/5 in the final session, Australia needed just 12.2 overs to bowl out India. India lost the last five wickets in a span of only 15 runs and Lyon ran through India’s lower order. All the last five batsmen of the Indian batting line-up got out for single digit scores.
Opener KL Rahul was India’s lone bright spot as he scored 90, his third Test half-century and second of the series. Rahul tried to fight till the end but was the ninth wicket to fall in the day as he tried to accelerate, having left with no other choice.
David Warner and Matt Renshaw then added 40 runs for the Australians in 16 overs before the day ended with the visitors trailing by 49 runs.
Earlier in the day, Lyon made India reel at 168/5 at tea with Rahul fighting on at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium after India opted to bat.
Lyon struck shortly after lunch to get Kohli trapped lbw for 12, as the star batsman once again offered no shot to an Australian spinner. He was bowled by left-arm spinner Steve O’Keefe in the first Test.
Kohli, who had a rare flop in Pune with scores of 0 and 13, faltered after choosing to pad up Lyon’s off-spin that headed straight onto the stumps and was adjudged lbw.
Kohli wasted a review as the replays agreed with the umpire’s call and the star batsman walked back to the pavilion with the home crowd stunned into silence.
Rahul, who has survived two dropped catches on 30 and 61, continued to grind his way forward but support from the other end is what the batsman requires.
Karun Nair (26) stayed on with Rahul for a while before getting stumped to O’Keefe, who starred with 12 wickets in Australia’s big win in Pune.
Earlier Rahul had braved a tough morning session as well with pace spearhead Mitchell Starc and Lyon reducing India to 72-2 at lunch.
Pacemen Starc and Josh Hazlewood bowled probing spells to rattle the Indian batting on a pitch which has an average first innings score of 451 in the last seven Tests.
A probing Australian bowling attack struck twice to jolt India as opener Lokesh Rahul braved a tough morning session on the opening day of the second Test in Bangalore Saturday.
The hosts, who elected to bat first, were 72 for two at lunch as off-spinner Nathan Lyon got the wicket of Cheteshwar Pujara (17) just before the break.
Rahul, who was unbeaten 48, put on 61 runs for the second wicket with Pujara to try and steady the innings after India were hit hard by the Australian pacemen.
Pace spearhead Mitchell Starc gave Australia their first breakthrough after trapping opener Abhinav Mukund lbw for nought in the third over of the day.
The left-handed Mukund, who returned to India’s Test XI after nearly six years since playing his last game in 2011, was drafted in place of injured Murali Vijay.
Rahul and Pujara then tried to grind their way out, surviving some hostile spells of pace from Starc and Josh Hazlewood at Bangalore’s M Chinnaswamy Stadium.
First Test hero Steve O’Keefe, who claimed a career-best match haul of 12 wickets in Pune, was introduced in the eighth over of the innings as the visitors kept up the pressure.
Rahul survived a dropped chance on 30 when Peter Handscomb failed to cling on to a tough catch at short cover off O’Keefe’s left-arm spin.
But it seems the spill by the fielder only strengthened Rahul’s resolve at his home venue as he batted with grit against a barrage of short deliveries from Australian pacemen.
Virat Kohli’s India, who lost the opening Test in Pune inside three days, need to win this match in order keep their chances of winning the four-game series alive.