Indian batsmen have traditionally struggled on tours in alien conditions. On Friday, the Indians were forced to send in premier fast bowler Jasprit Bumrah as nightwatchman in the final session of the second day's play in the opening Test against Australia at the Adelaide Oval.
Bumrah, who showcased his batting ability with an unbeaten 55 in the warm-up game against Australia 'A', safely negotiated 11 balls as India did not suffer any further damage after the early loss of opener Prithvi Shaw. Opener Mayank Agarwal even refused a single which was on offer off the final over of the day-night contest leaving Bumrah to face the chin music.
Indian skipper Virat Kohli and a few other teammates were laughing their heart out as Bumrah was facing the thunderbolts from Pat Cummins. One felt that it was a gamble by the Indian think tank to make Bumrah the nightwatchman with wicketkeeper Wriddhiman Saha and all-rounder R Ashwin in their ranks. Both Saha and Ashwin are proven batsmen with Test centuries to their credit and have better technique as compared to Bumrah.
Further there is always the risk of a lesser batsman like Bumrah getting injured in tough conditions. As many as 15 wickets fell on the second day of the pink-ball Test. Bumrah had bowled 21 overs in the Australian innings picking up 2/52.
The Indian team management had sent in pacer Umesh Yadav as nightwatchman in their last Test against New Zealand in Christchurch earlier this year. However, Yadav fell before stumps on the third day after making one off 12 balls.
For a team which stresses on playing aggressive and positive cricket, Kohli and head coach Ravi Shastri need to be wiser in their choice of nightwatchmen.