Murali Vijay, who was drafted into the playing XI after the injury to Prithvi Shaw, has not going at all in the three innings so far. After playing two loose strokes in Adelaide, Vijay was always going to be under pressure in Perth.
Australia were bowled out for 326 in their first innings, but on the pitch which had a lot of spice and venom, this score was a competitive one. Indian batting, which has been below par in the recent past, was dealt an early jolt when Mitchell Starc dismantled Vijay's stumps just on the stroke of lunch.
The ball pitched on middle stump and snaked back in perfectly between the bat and pad to smash the stumps. Vijay had to depart for a duck, and this could well mean, he could be axed in the next match if Prithvi Shaw is declared fit.
6th time Starc has dismissed Vijay in Tests and this was also his 3rd duck in last 5 innings. Such has been the lull in his form this year, that he has now been bowled for the 4th time this year out of the 11 in his entire career.
Starc, who was criticised for his lack of effort in the previous match at Adelaide, was pumped up with this wicket and if the reaction is anything to go by, this spell could well have his name all over.
Former Australian spinner Shane Warne described Starc's form as "atrocious" in a column for News Corp, saying the paceman would struggle to hold his place in the test XI unless he improved in Perth.
'I'm not saying Mitchell Starc cost us the game (in Adelaide)," wrote Warne in his latest column. "But if you are doing CSI-style, forensic analysis over the match and look for where it went wrong, you'd look at his effort with the second new ball in both innings," Starc added.