About the Match
The India vs Australia test series has been closely fought all throughout and so it was no surprise to see that we got another seesaw day in today. Australia started off like a runaway train and India did well to pull things back by the end of the day. So who is in the better position and what can we expect from the upcoming days?
Day 2 Preview
India may have wondered where Australia was going to end up when they went into the lunch break at 131 for 1. The scoring rate was well above 4 and both the batsmen seemed to be in excellent touch. Rahane then turned to his debutant left-arm chinaman, Kuldeep Yadav, who turned the match around.
From 131 for 1, Australia added 169 runs for their last 9 wickets and ended up with 300. Seeing as this is by far the best pitch to bat on in the series, they may have left some runs out there and could regret that as the match progresses.
India will know that they have started well but that they are without Virat Kohli and will need to bat last on this pitch. We think that the current situation is evenly poised with the Indians maybe a little ahead.
Lokesh Rahul and Murali Vijay will start for India first up and will have a tough task ahead of them. The new ball will swing around and there is some nice carry in the wicket. Josh Hazelwood and Pat Cummins will be very keen to take some early wickets and make the most of this new ball.
Rahul has been in some good form, while Murali Vijay has a good temperament and can wait out the trying conditions. We think that India will be in a very strong position if they can wait out the first hour unscathed even if many runs don’t come their way.
We would back Rahul to get another 50 plus score among the two opening batsmen. Pujara and Rahane will follow the opening pair and this is where the match will be won or lost. Pujara has been a rock for the Indian team and we think he could make another big score here, maybe even another hundred. Rahane too has a liking for pitches that are fast and bouncy and so we would back him to get runs as well.
After these two, though there is not much to follow and this is what Australia must remember. Even at 200 for 2, India will only be a couple of wickets away from a potential collapse. Karun Nair is still looking for runs this series, while Ashwin’s bad patch seems to have carried on to his batting form as well.
Wriddhiman Saha and Ravindra Jadeja can provide some useful runs down the order but the Australians will back themselves against those two on this surface.
For the Aussies, we think the main threat will be Hazelwood and Lyon. Josh Hazelwood is an excellent exponent of the moving delivery and could find himself in the wickets tomorrow. He has the opportunity to win the match for Australia tomorrow itself by picking up 2-3 early wickets. The pitch also has some cracks down the middle from where the ball can jag severely.
Lyon too will love the bounce on offer and the luxury to bowl like how he does at home. We think this will make him much more effective. We would, in fact, back Lyon to take the most wickets for Australia in this innings.
A lead of 100 runs can be decisive in this match and so both teams will be targeting that first. Personally, we think that India will end up taking a good lead in this innings and would back them to get 400 plus.
India is still the favorites to win, although losing the toss has eroded their advantage somewhat.
Back India to Win.
Winner: India, 1.73 @ Bet on India now