Home » Thirty-four balls and just 29 minutes: Here’s how Australia’s latest Test batting collapse unfolded

Thirty-four balls and just 29 minutes: Here’s how Australia’s latest Test batting collapse unfolded

It wasn’t the first Australian batting collapse in this tour and it may not be the last, but the half-hour implosion in Indore was certainly the most spectacular.

It took just 29 minutes for Australia to be rolled from a position of relative strength at 4-186 to be 197 all out.

In the space of 34 balls — just under six overs — Ravichandran Ashwin and Umesh Yadav ripped through the Australian batting line up.

Here’s how it went down.

Handscomb: 5-186 (10:38am local time)

Ashwin had been held back over the course of the first hour, in which Australia painstakingly compiled 30 runs without loss.

But once he was unleashed, he was an instant threat.

Peter Handscomb’s dismissal triggered Australia’s stunning collapse.(Getty Images: Robert Cianflone)

Handscomb had been surprised by some sharp turn early in the over as Ashwin probed from around the wicket.

But then Handscomb prodded forward at another sharp turner that caught the inside edge and flew straight to Shreyas Iyer at bat pad.

Green: 6-188 (10:44am)

Cam Green had looked relatively untroubled by what India had thrown at him in the first hour — a steady diet of spin that he was able to get forward to, using his big stride and reach to smother the spin.

Spin was not being effective for India, but was still the biggest threat on a pitch that looked like the sole, torn-up entrance to a car-park overflow at the local footy club.

But we were deceived — as were the next two batters.

Umesh Yadav came into the attack having only bowled two overs on day one and had enough reverse swing to catch Green high on the pad.

The umpires finger went up and the DRS review showed the ball would just have clipped the top of leg stump.

Starc: 7-192 (10:52am)

Yadav’s threat was his reverse swing with the 73-over-old ball and it was the slight wobble of the ball from around the wicket that did for Starc, comprehensively bowling his off stump, which cartwheeled halfway to the wicket keeper before coming to rest.

Carey: 8-196 (10:57am)

Yadav was in danger of stealing the limelight, so Ashwin sought to get in on the act again with a devilish ball that struck the Australian keeper on the pads from around the wicket.

Carey reviewed, but he was plumb, the ball destined for the leg stump after beating his inside edge.

Murphy: 9-197 (11:02am)

Yadav’s turn again, Todd Murphy was another to be deceived by the reverse swing of the Indian seamer, his off stump similarly demolished to his fast-bowling counterpart.

Lyon: 10-197 (11:07am)

There was no point in Lyon trying to hang around for too long, so he reverted to the shot that cost Australia so dearly in the second Test and went for a monumental heave of a sweep shot.

Ashwin was bowling stump-to-stump and the ball crashed into middle and leg to end Australia’s innings.

An Australian male batter is bowled during the third Test.
Nathan Lyon could not beat the spin of Ravichandran Ashwin.(Getty Images: Robert Cianflone)

Australia did still lead by 88 runs which, on a pitch that was turning and showing uneven bounce, could yet be a formidable total.

It was Australia’s fourth heavy collapse of the series, joining the 6-68 and 10-84 in Nagpur and the 8-28 in Delhi.

The 6-11 was Australia’s worst six-wicket collapse since Bangalore in 2017, when Australia fell from 4-101 to 112 all out — another 6-11 collapse.