Despite winning the 1st Test at Pune by a huge margin of 333 runs, Australia will take the field as underdogs against Virat Kohli’s team in Bengaluru. The 2nd Test match has become very important for the Indian side after a humiliating loss last week but it isn’t bothering Anil Kumble and Virat Kohli at the moment and rightly so. The Indian cricket team had fantastic 7 to 8 months under the new coach Anil Kumble, winning all the series and this loss was his first Test defeat as a coach. However, the legendary leg-spinner understands that there is no need to panic. “It (Pune Test) was just one of those games where things didn’t go our way. What has happened is done and dusted and you can’t really worry too much about that. Australia played well.” said Kumble while addressing the media ahead of the 2nd Test.
The statement makes it clear that there won’t be too many changes in the Indian playing XI either. However, Virat Kohli is yet to field the same side in two consecutive Tests which means either Jayant Yadav or Ishant Sharma could be axed to include Karun Nair or Bhuvneshwar Kumar in the team. There will be a lot of pressure on the opening pair of KL Rahul and Murali Vijay who currently average less than 20 and would like to improve that record.
Virat Kohli sweating it out in the nets:
— BCCI (@BCCI) March 1, 2017
As far as Aussies are considered, they know to win the series, they have to get Kohli out another 6 times. “He’s a class player, we all know that. He’s scored a mountain of runs already this year. We’re going to have to be wary of that Virat comeback. We know Kohli is going to be another key wicket for the rest of the series. There are six more times we’ve got to get him out to really cement this series,” said a vigilant Mitchell Starc.
Even though the visitors restricted India for 105 and 107 in both the innings respectively, their own scores were not impressive either. If it wasn’t for Steven Smith’s century in the 2nd innings and the number of opportunities he got, Australia could have been in a spot of bother. The Aussie skipper now averages nearly 100 in Tests against India and bowlers are yet to find a way to get him out. After his stupendous knock on a devilish pitch will be itching to get one more.
Some catching practice for the Indian side:
— BCCI (@BCCI) March 1, 2017
Virat Kohli would certainly like to win the toss as it was one of the crucial factors in Pune. Another issue would be the effective usage of DRS, something India got terribly wrong in the first Test.
India: Virat Kohli (c), Murali Vijay, KL Rahul, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane, Wriddhiman Saha (wk), Ravichandran Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Ishant Sharma, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Umesh Yadav, Karun Nair, Jayant Yadav, Kuldeep Yadav, Abhinav Mukund, Hardik Pandya.
Australia: Steve Smith (c), David Warner (vc), Ashton Agar, Jackson Bird, Peter Handscomb, Josh Hazlewood, Usman Khawaja, Nathan Lyon, Mitchell Marsh, Shaun Marsh, Glenn Maxwell, Stephen O’Keefe, Matthew Renshaw, Mitchell Starc, Mitchell Swepson, Matthew Wade.