India vs Australia 2017 2nd Test: Preview

India vs Australia 2017 2nd Test of the Border-Gavaskar Trophy has undoubtedly gained much attraction from all over the world and is scheduled to be played at M. Chinnaswamy Stadium, Bengaluru from 4th to 8th March.

After India’s streak of 19 consecutive unbeaten Tests came to an end when Australia produced a big surprise by winning the first test in just three days and by a margin of 333 runs last week, the focus has shifted to Bengaluru as everybody is expecting a comeback from the Virat Kohli led side.
M. Chinnaswamy Stadium, one of the shortest venues in India, never fails to produce high scoring games and after playing on the Pune pitch that had horrendous amount of turn from the first day, the one opted for the second test will feature to be a completely different surface. Groundsmen have reported that for the first two days, batsmen and seamers will have a blast at the venue and from the third day, spinners will have the advantage of turn. We further expect the final day to be a heaven for bowlers, making it the pitch-perfect ground for India vs Australia 2017 2nd Test.

India (Batting)

KL Rahul
image source: hindustantimes.com

What we saw in the first test was the worst batting collapse that India has suffered in recent times but the one positive aspect the side would be cherishing is the comeback of KL Rahul. It’s not a hidden fact that the hosts have been suffering to give a respectable start to the batting lineup and after Rahul’s 64 runs knock at Pune, they now have both the opening batsmen in form. Murali Vijay, recently registered a ton in the one-off against Bangladesh and this should have acted as a confidence booster for the otherwise exceptional batsman.

After getting things right at the opening, it’s Virat Kohli who will have to keep the scorecard running and considering the fact that the skipper has the highest number of runs at this venue, and is also his IPL home ground, he will have to trigger an unrest amongst Australian bowlers.

Cheteshwar Pujara and Ajinkya Rahane
image source: CricketCountry.com

As for Cheteshwar Pujara and Ajinkya Rahane, they have struggled against both the seamers and the spinners throughout the home season except a couple of substantial innings. Both boast great capabilities with the bat and depend more on timing rather than mindless hitting, which is the biggest asset for a test player. Pujara and Rahane would have to make things right by finding gaps early in the proceeding, because otherwise, like always, they will go back cheap due to the mounting pressure.

The lower order that the Indian team has, is definitely one of the best but lately, they have opted for a do or die strategy that has taken them down on many occasions. If the pitch would anything be like the previous one, the lower order would need to let go of the ODI mask and play with more composure.

Australia (Batting)

Steven Smith
image source: Sportskeeda.com

Except for skipper Steven Smith, who scored 108 runs in the first test match, the story here was similar to that of India in the batting lineup. However, where no Indian player managed to score in double digits except KL Rahul and Virat Kohli, Aussies showed some great Zeal against Indian bowling attack. From Matt Renshaw and David Warner, who performed in the Ist innings, to the whole middle and lower order, they have managed to run the scoreboard and the same would be needed in the India vs Australia 2017 2nd Test, due to the high-scoring expectation and small size of the ground.

India and Australia (Bowling)

Steve O’Keefe
image source: freepressjournal.in

Bowling attacks of both the teams, including both seamers and spinners, are at their prime, especially, the Aussies side. No Indian fans will ever forget the destruction caused by Steve O’Keefe, who claimed a total of 12 wickets in the first test match, bundling down the whole Indian side to dust. However, Nathan Lyon, Josh Hazlewood and Mitchell Starc have also managed to stall the scoreboard.

Coming to the Indian side, the seamers have recently found their form and considering the strip to be offered in the next outing, they are definitely going to be the match-turners of the game. This coupled with Jadeja’s consistency and Ravichandran Ashwin’s wicket taking capabilities, will give spectators the clash they have been waiting for and like the one sided one we saw last weekend.

Toss

image source: sports.ndtv.com
image source: sports.ndtv.com

As mentioned earlier, the pitch at M. Chinnaswamy Stadium will be a heaven for the batsmen for the first couple of days and considering Australia’s performances in the last couple of high scoring games, the team who wins the toss, will have a bigger advantage over the other, if the winning side opts to bat first.

What to Expect

Whatever the case might be, India will not leave a single stone unturned to register a comeback in the series, which is also the last one of their home season and on the other hand, after going through some humiliating defeats this season, Australia will not set for anything less than a victory.

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