Pune : Unheralded left-arm spinner Steve O’Keefe today grabbed a sensational match-haul of 12 wickets as a sloppy India slumped to a humiliating 333-run defeat inside three days in the first cricket Test against Australia here.
Australia set a daunting target of 441, riding on skipper Steve Smith’s batting masterclass on a rank turner, and then skittled out the hapless hosts for a paltry 107 in 33.5 overs to take a 1-0 lead in the four-match series.
The embarrassing defeat also ended India’s unbeaten streak of 19 Tests with the last defeat coming against England at Kolkata in late 2012.
The 32-year-old O’Keefe did the star turn once again with identical figures of 6/35 in both innings as India failed to even cross 110 in both innings.
It was a total disaster for the World No.1 Test team, who were simply outclassed in all departments of the game and they further compounded their miseries with atrocious shot selection, shoddy fielding and poor referrals.
Skipper Virat Kohli had a rare bad Test match where he had scores 0 and 13 in both innings of the game. India collectively posted their lowest aggregate for a home Test match and ended up suffering their second biggest defeat at home in terms of runs.
Kohli was out in the second innings shouldering arms to an angled delivery from O’Keefe which dashed India’s minuscule hopes of a miraculous comeback.
As many as six Indian batsmen failed to reach double figures with only Cheteshwar Pujara showing some stomach for fight with a score of 31.
After Smith’s superb 109 — his 18th Test ton on a spiteful pitch –, there was no comeback for India as both openers KL Rahul and Murali Vijay made a mess of DRS when it was the umpire’s call.
With demons of the turner working overtime on their minds, the Indian batsmen were unable to negotiate the turner which boomeranged on them.