The last time Aussies won a Test series in India was in 2004 under the leadership of Ricky Ponting and the young squad led by Steven Smith landed in India hoping that at least they don’t suffer an embarrassing defeat like the Australian teams have, between 2004 and 2016. But, to let you know how difficult that would be, India haven’t lost a Test at home since December 2012, winning 17 and drawing 3 out of the 20 matches played since then. When India lost that match to England, Yuvraj Singh was still a part of the Test setup while Ajinkya Rahane was yet to make his debut in the longer format of the game. However, Australia have pushed India right at the edge for another loss and here is what Virat Kohli’s men need to do save it from here:
1. Be aggressive from the very first ball
Virat Kohli needs to understand that Indian bowlers did a great job, its just that the luck favoured Steven Smith. Fielders dropped some important catches and helped Aussies to run away with the match. So, he should do anything different and continue to attack on Day 3 as well.
Watch Mitchell Marsh smoking Jayant Yadav into the stands:
2. Restrict Aussies to a low total
This is no rocket science, a lead of 298 runs is already a bit too much on this pitch. Indian bowlers should look to bowl out the visitors as cheaply as possible and to make it possible, spinners should operate for the most part of the day.
3. Get a good start
India’s biggest problem right now is the opening pair of Murali Vijay and KL Rahul that averages less than 20 in Test cricket. However, it is time to leave that record behind because if India wants to win this match from here, they need to get off to great, and just a good start.
4. Build Partnerships
Indian team collapsed from 93/3 to 105/10 in the first innings and the lack of partnership have already cost the hosts big in this match. The middle-order needs to take more responsibility in the 2nd innings and needs to make sure that the team doesn’t lose too many wickets in bunches.
Kuldeep Yadav reveals he switched to spin bowling after watching Shane Warne:
5. Believe that you can win
Indian players’ biggest fight will be with themselves. The kind of situation they have pushed themselves in, everyone has written them off but the team needs to believe that it can win the match from here, a feeling Virat Kohli has successfully injected in his teammates in last 12 months. However, every game is different and every time you step out on the field, you face a new challenge.
No other team in last 5 or 6 years, has outplayed India in Test cricket on its soil like Steven Smith-led Australia did on Friday. The spinners made Indian batsmen dance to their tunes, fast bowlers picked up crucial wickets and the batsmen totally out-batted the Indian clique. By the end of the day, Aussies had taken a lead of 298 runs on a buffing wicket which according to Ravi Shastri needs to visit a dermatologist. can India save the game from here? Only time will tell!