Australia didn't deserve underdogs tag: Nayan Mongia to India Today

They have never mattered to us.

Cheteshwar Pujara was dismissed for six, while India captain and batting mainstay Virat Kohli was despatched for a two-ball duck on a wicket favouring both pace and spin.

Iconic opening batsman Sunil Gavaskar has termed the abject surrender against Australia in Pune as one of the worst ever defeats in India's long and illustrious Test history. It was the case of us not applying ourselves too well.

"Australia will head to Bangalore for the second Test with genuine belief they can pull off what only a few days ago seemed like mission impossible and win just their second series on these shores since 1969". In comparison, Aussies played out 90 and 87 overs in their first and second innings respectively against the likes of Ravichandran Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja and Jayant Yadav who together have taken more than 100 wickets this season.

Soon we were working together again at a two-day session at the National Cricket Centre in Brisbane. But there are no excuses.

"Sometimes there are people out there who criticise you and that's a test of how much you want to make a comeback", added Panesar. "We couldn't build any partnerships, I think that was our worst point", said the 28-year-old.

"I am sure we are going to bounce back strongly". Australia then crossed 200 in the 65th over as runs came at a good rate. "I will have to see him bowl on a good Test match wicket". The Australians, however, made substantial gains with match heroes Steve O'Keefe, Steve Smith and Matt Renshaw attaining significant gains.

O'Keefe was written off by many, including the legendary Shane Warne, who commentated moments before his incredible spell labelling the spinner as "Australia's weakest bowler". We've got some good players of spin and good spinners. Putting his tremendous experience and wisdom into place, Sachin said that he feels that the Indian team does have the spirit to get up and fight back in the remainder of the series. "We prepared different tracks ... rough, rank turners, slow and low", he said.

Smith has accepted that the Australians are the underdogs in this series and that Australia may need a miracle to win in India. "A massive lead in this wicket helped". Starc also hit a breezy 30 in the second innings.

"If you drop five catches off one batsman, if you lose seven wickets for 11 runs, you certainly don't deserve to win. It took a lot of grit and determination", Smith said. He has now earned the distinction of something even illustrious Shane Warne can not boast of in India - a five-for (actually two, 6-35 & 6-35) in an innings and as a 10-for (12-70) in a match. "Our batters worked really hard not to get beaten on one edge". I am enjoying my experience (on the spinning pitches).

The two sides will lay their second match from March 4 at the M. Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bengaluru.

It looks quite clear that this isn't the weakest Australian team to have toured India in recent times! The series is equally important for both sides as they vie for the ICC top spot. We learned some lessons from Sri Lanka.

  • Zachary Reyes