Sanjay Manjrekar believes that Usman Khawaja’s win with the sweep shot during the first innings prompted the Australian batters to follow similar steps in their second test against India.
Five Aussie batters as well as Steve Smith, lost their wickets to the shots, after the hosts got bowled for 113 during their next innings. They fell in six innings.
Khawaja was the top scorer in Australia in the opening innings. Left-handed opener Khawaja scored 81 runs in 150 deliveries. He also utilized the reverse and sweep of the sweep with a flurry until a spectacular capture by KL Rahul brought him to an end of his time on the sidelines.
With the ball remaining low following its turn during the second innings, the team remained stubborn in their decision to use the sweep shot. The writer noted that every batter was convinced that they needed to sweep to be successful in the end, Manjrekar wrote in his column in The Hindustan Times:
“Khawaja played every sweep they have in the modern game and was successful. He scored 81 runs during the opening innings, despite scoring 1 and five in Nagpur. The victory of Khawaja is actually the primary reason behind Australia’s failure to bat at the end of the innings. Every Australian player who followed him began with a desire to strike and this too using the sweep shot “sweep to be successful” appeared to be their mantra.”
Ravindra Jadeja took advantage of the methods used by Australian batters while he raced through the Aussie batsmen’s lineup. The left-arm spinner came back with his best ever numbers of 7-42 as the hosts dropped nine wickets over one match.
It was hurtful to watch Smith make the attempt at sweeping and then get out in the second inning” Sanjay Manjrekar
As mentioned previously one among the casualties of the shot sweep was the former captain Steve Smith. Smith attempted to play a sloppy sweep on Ravichandran Ashwin but he was not able to connect, and was snared lbw while Australia’s decline continued.
Remarking the fact that Smith’s excellent technique for tackling spin bowling doesn’t need Smith to use his sweep shot SanjayManjrekar claimed:
“It was very painful to see Smith attempt the sweep, and then get out after the first innings. Smith is a batter who had one of the best hundreds of runs on Indian field by an international player in Pune in the year 2017 the Test match which Australia took home.”
Furthermore, stating the fact that Marnus Labuschagne and Smith were taken into the team’s philosophy instead of playing their normal game Manjrekar also wrote:
“If Smith and Labuschagne had not embraced the team’s overall strategy I’m sure they would have earned this victory for India much more difficult to earn. I think Peter Handscomb, Smith and Labuschagne are strong sufficient batters that they can play in their own game and provide valuable support to their team. They all are able to judge their spinners’ length well and are safe in defense.”
Australia will take on India for the 3rd Test in the Border Gavaskar Trophy in the Holkar Stadium in Indore from March 1 and onwards.