Not in our wildest dreams could anyone have predicted what happened on Day 2 in Pune. Some of it, such as Starc being dismissed in the first over of the day, having Australia being dismissed for 260... yes, that was predictable. But trying to negotiate the rest of the day's play would have broken a crystal ball.
- The Australian quicks did exactly what they had to do at the top of the order, busting through with pace and guile. Hazelwood's dismissal of Vijay was just brilliant, the away swinger to the keeper. Then Starc, fast and short at Pujara, before the wide tempter to Kohli drew the edge. Brilliant and inspiring from the fast men when it was needed.
- Rahul's shot was a match changer. In control with 64, and India had regained balance at 3/94, his complete error in judgement was ill thought out, and gave O'Keefe his first wicket in India. It was the moment that India's world exploded.
- India lost 7/11 in their own backyard. Completely ludicrous. Suddenly O'Keefe and Lyon were unplayable. What happened? The wicket? Panic? Arrogance? Whatever it was it was beautiful to watch.
- Steven O'Keefe take a bow. What a wonderful reward for persistence and patience. He has been derided publicly by such 'experts' as Shane Warne who has named every other spinner in Australia as more deserving of a spot in the Australian side. Through it all SOK has never once taken the bait to respond, he has been humble in interviews and respectful of the chances he has been given and of the help his teammates and captain have given him. His First Class record, better than any other spinner in Australia, is proof that he could bowl and deserved his chance, and he was rewarded yesterday for it. He himself admitted it will be tougher in the second innings against the Indian batting line up. But today was his and will always be his. Thumbs up.
- Australia's catching is the difference. Handscomb took three pearlers, Warner and Starc two great outfield catches, and Smith the one to close the innings. Brilliant. On the other side of the coin, Smith has already been dropped three times in his fifty, two of which should have been taken. If any of them had been caught Australia could already have been all out. Costly.
- Handscomb and Renshaw were both impressive with the bat again, despite their dismissals. They looked the part on a tough batting wicket. Good signs. Shaun Marsh not so much.
- Ashwin always looked dangerous on this wicket, and is probably the early key this afternoon. If Smith and Marsh can see off the first hour then 400 lead is still possible.