(Reuters) – Australia’s thrashing at the hands of India was slammed as the “nightmare of Nagpur” with the country’s media reeling after witnessing one of the team’s worst batting performances in recent memory.
Ravichandran Ashwin tore through Pat Cummins’ team to set up the hosts’ comprehensive victory by an innings and 132 runs inside three days of the spin-dominated opening test on Saturday.
In an article headlined “Australia humiliated in the present, but future even shakier,” Daniel Brettig, the chief cricket writer of The Age newspaper, wrote, “The hosts were as knowing as the tourists looked uncomprehending. “The key to beating Australia in Asia is not to produce a terrible surface that will aid both sides equally,” he added.
“Instead, it is to prepare something tricky but playable, safe in the knowledge that its subtleties are more than likely to be lost on most touring players.”
Australia’s paltry second innings total of 91 was its lowest on Indian soil but Gideon Haigh at The Australian felt the seeds of defeat were to be found earlier in the test. “Australia’s failure … was not Saturday, but on the first day, when 174 was a poor use of success at the toss,” he wrote.
“If the pitch was fated to break up, as the team suspected, we will now never know: the match has simply not lasted long enough.
“Were this a murder, we would be silently congratulating the killer on disposing of the body.”
So comprehensive was the defeat the country’s media were left to consider the magnitude of the challenge awaiting the Australians in the tour’s remaining tests in Delhi, Dharamsala and Ahmedabad. “Australian captain Pat Cummins faces the greatest challenge in cricket to raise the Titanic from the bottom of the harbour,” Robert Craddock wrote in The Australian.
“He has been admirably cool but he must be chastened.
“He admitted recently that this tour could define a generation of Australian cricketers. A Mount Everest climb awaits him to turn the tide.”