About the Match
Fascinating second day of test cricket saw both India and Australia fight hard for every run and every wicket. The visitors have the upper hand, however, India ensured that they are still not completely out of the game. Another intriguing day lies ahead of us on Day 3. Here is what we think will happen.
Day 3 Preview
A look at the scorecard might lead you to believe that not much happened on the second day at Bengaluru. 197 runs were scored in 90 overs and only six wickets fell. That, however, fails to showcase the fact that almost every delivery was an event.
The pitch has deteriorated faster than anyone would have believed and there are deliveries that are shooting across the surface, bouncing awkwardly, and taking vicious turn. It is a surface where Australia will not want to chase anything over 150 on day 5 and even that might leave them struggling.
This is why it was very important for both teams to make their first innings count. Australia will, of course, want to stretch their lead of 48 to a 100 or even more, while the Indians will be desperate to get these remaining four wickets for as less as possible.
On the crease right now are Mathew Wade and Mitchell Starc. Wade may be the more accomplished batsmen out of the two but it is Starc that India will fear more. His ability to strike the ball cleanly can hurt India much like he did in the fist innings of the first test match.
Scoring the same kind of run on this wicket might be a little more difficult, though. We think that backing Australia to stretch their lead for another 30-45 runs is a safe bet but beyond that looks difficult.
Expect the Indians to bat again by the end of the first session or the early part of the second one. If, however, Australia is able to take it’s lead to 150 or thereabouts then back Australia to win as early as possible while the best odds are available.
The Indian batsmen have been unable to show the kind of patience that the Australians have shown and will need to step up their game immediately if they are to stay in this series. It may seem like a left-field move but backing Rahane to open the batting might be a better idea than keeping him down the order where he is looking very uncomfortable against spin.
The loss of Murali Vijay to injury is a huge blow and we do not see Abhinav Mukund making a significant contribution to in this match. Rahul, Pujara, and Kohli, on the other hand, are going to be key.
Rahul has taken his chances and had some luck go his way on his way to two half centuries. India will be hoping for more from him if he gets set this time around. Pujara is the batsman that has the best chance of scoring runs from the Indian side in our opinion because of his technique and temperament.
We would back him to be the highest scorer for India in the second innings. Kohli has been very fired up in the field and that can sometimes give him a boost in the field. His style of batting though is not suited to these treacherous turning wickets.
Every single bowler in the Australian lineup has looked threatening when coming on to bowl. Lyon and O’Keefe are going to be the main threats once again while Starc will be used aggressively in short spells.
Back Lyon to build on his wickets haul for the test match and be the top wicket taker once again. We also expect the Aussies to come at India a lot harder verbally this time around as well.
The match is poised brilliantly and could go either way but we still have to back Australia to win this one.
Back Australia to Win.
Winner: Australia, 1.5 @ Bet on Australia now