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India’s historic collapse: The bright side for the optimistic fan

India Kohli
by Manoj Narayan 3-minute read

We had to scrape the bottom of the barrel, but we found a few positives to takeaway from the historic India collapse.

As far as shellackings go, this was right up there. India haven’t received such a hammering at the hands of any captain in the last 45-odd years. And for all the good work Virat Kohli has done as captain of the Indian Test side, Australia have threatened to blight all that with what they did in the space of a session.

India succumbed to their lowest Test score in history, and 36-9 will now be brandished by opposition fans at every opportunity. India don’t have anywhere to hide. They’ll just have to bear it, and with any luck, a couple of good results in the remainder of this series might yet take the sting out of it.

It’s all doom and gloom for India now – we can’t say it isn’t – but if they search really hard, there are some positives, some philosophical, in which they can take solace in for now. We’ve helpfully combined all those positives in one neat little package below. This one’s for you, India.

Australia still had to chase 90

It’s the former India opener Kris Srikkanth who mooted this point, in the innings break after 36-9. India’s first-innings lead of 53 meant Australia had to chase 90, despite bowling India out for that paltry score. They did that with eight wickets to spare, with India’s morale all but shot, but it’s a mark of how well India played up till today that they had as big a lead as 53 to fall back on.

Yes, it might seem like we’re scraping the bottom of the barrel here, but there’s no denying India did impress in the first two days, and while everything went horribly wrong thereafter, there’s certainly something to build on. That’ll be the message in the dressing room, at least.

This Bumran chap can bat (a bit)

The highlight of the second day was easily Jasprit Bumrah facing up and surving the short stuff sent his way by Pat Cummins and Mitchell Starc. This in arguably the toughest time to bat in day-night Tests, when the floodlights are on, and after having sent down 21 intense overs. Bumrah came through with flying colours, and the beaming reaction of Virat Kohli and the rest of the bench after Bumrah walked back in at stumps said it all.

Even on the third morning, Bumrah handled some of the short stuff well, all while smiling from end to end. It took a slower ball from Cummins to eventually see off Bumrah – it was the sort of variation he didn’t have to resort to to dismiss the more heralded Indian batsmen on the day, and that’s saying something.

It’s not the lowest total ever

It might seem like scant consolation at the moment, but the fact remains that India’s 36-9 is a full 10 runs more than the lowest total of all time in Test cricket – the 26 all out New Zealand managed against England in Auckland 1955.

In fact, India’s total is way down at joint-fifth in the all-time list of lowest Test totals, and perhaps years or decades from now when another unfortunate side implodes like India did today, those scrambling through the records will be more preoccupied with New Zealand’s score than India’s.

(That’s admittedly stretching it a bit, but this is a hard task.)

It’s 2020 …

… and that means it doesn’t count. So bizarre has this year been, so massive has its effect on normal life been, that it’s mostly been written off. It’s the year that the world can’t wait to be rid off, there have been online petitions and posters calling for 2020 to not be counted, and India will find merit in all those suggestions.

All of which means India’s collapse (and we’re running the risk of sounding like Donald Trump here) shouldn’t be counted.

Twitter found its sense of humour

This might go down as India’s greatest achievement this year. Considered by many to be the most negative, demoralising place on the internet, India’s collapse managed what not many have so far – Twitter found its sense of humour.

India’s collapse caused a flurry of memes and gifs and the like, many of which were self-deprecatory in nature. If only for that, the collapse, however hard it would have been to live through, was worth it.

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