Kuldeep Yadav claimed five wickets at the SCG.
Kuldeep Yadav claimed five wickets at the SCG.

India humiliates Australia with 30-year first

Just when you thought things couldn't get any worse, Australia's new year, new me resolution was undone in embarrassing fashion after they were forced to follow-on by a ruthless Virat Kohli.

Fans hoping to see some more fight were left wanting more after Kuldeep Yadav ripped through the middle order to finish with five first innings wickets as the hosts were rolled for 300 before tea, 322 runs behind India's mammoth total.

 

Unlike in Melbourne where he opted against enforcing the follow-on, Kohli went for the throat in gloomy conditions at the SCG, marking the first time a touring team had the option of asking Australia to bat again twice in a home summer.

The move also marked the first time Australia had been forced to follow-on at home since the Bicentennial Test against England in 1988, while it was the first time the Aussies had been asked to do so since England sent them back in during the fourth Test at Nottingham in 2005.

Kohli's call to send Australia back in was just the second time India had done it, and the 15th time overall that an opposition captain had done it to Australia in Australia.

It was an easy decision given his bowlers had been able to rest during a lengthy rain delay that lasted almost four hours, and showed a ruthless attitude that had been missing on previous tours as India closed in on a history-making series win.

 

Marcus Harris survives a scare before bad light stopped play. Picture: AP
Marcus Harris survives a scare before bad light stopped play. Picture: AP

 

While their first innings total was a far cry from the nightmarish 47 in Cape Town in 2011, the 60 against England in Nottingham in 2015, or the embarrassing 98 on Boxing Day in 2010, their SCG performance highlights the side's inability to pile on the runs, especially when you consider India reached 7-622 before declaring.

Bad light forced an early finish with the hosts 0-6, but you can expect an all-out attack from the Indian bowlers when they go in for the kill on day five.