About the Match
The India-Australia test series is promising to be a classic for the ages as no team wants to give an inch to the opposition. Kohli’s India managed to stage a remarkable comeback in the second test match and draw parity. Have we seen the best of Australia already or is there another surprise in store?
2nd Test Preview
India will know that they could have been entering this test match 2-0 down and their heads on the chopping block. However, as things turned out, Pujara and Rahane combined to put together an astonishing partnership that put the target well beyond Australia’s reach.
For the third test match at Ranchi, India will be hoping to repeat more of the same tactics that they employed in Bangalore. We don’t think that there will be any change in the bowling lineup especially after the seamers put in a much-improved show.
The batting will also need the buffer of having Karun Nair play as the extra batsman since the pitches have been very bowler friendly so far.
We think that Murali Vijay is probably going to be fit again for this test match and would lend a big boost to the Indian batting lineup. He, along with, Pujara and Kohli has been one of the mainstays of Indian batting and we think he will celebrate his return with a big score. Back him to get a score of 50 or more.
Pujara may not be the most acclaimed batsman or someone who will play the flashy strokes but is someone that can be depended upon in a tight situation. His confidence would be soaring after a fantastic second innings 92 and he is someone who has the temperament to make the opposition pay.
Kohli was a little unlucky to be given out LBW and was looking good before that moment in the second innings. He would be hoping that Ranchi throws up a traditional flat wicket which he can dominate and take full toll off.
Back Kohli to get big innings if India bats first but not if they bat second in this game. His batting seems to have hit a rough path after some tremendous form and we think that could continue.
One batsman who we think could offer some real value is Wriddhiman Saha. The feisty wicketkeeper did not score too many runs but was crucial in extending the Indian lead while batting with the tail.
He is also a confidence player and could end up making a useful contribution in the batting.
Ranchi will be slow, low and take turn as the game progresses. This means that Ravi Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja will be very much on the hunt once again. Jadeja may not have got too many wickets in the second innings of the last test match but he was a real threat to the Australian batting all throughout.
Back him to get the most number of wickets in this match for India.
The Australian team has been dealt a severe blow before the match has even begun. Mitchell STarc will play no further part in this match and will be replaced by Pat Cummins. Cummins brings with him some excellent pace, although, he is not as much of a threat with the old ball reverse swinging as Mitch Starc was.
Australia also needs to find a way to be able to combat the Indian spinners. David Warner is one of the most dangerous batsmen in the world but has been neutralized on these spinning wickets. He will continue to be a walking wicket if he does not trust his defense more.
The most likely candidates to score run for Australia seem to be Steve Smith and Shaun Marsh. Back both of these two to score runs on a pitch that should help the bowlers less. Mitchell Marsh has also been ruled out of action and it will be interesting to see if Australia go for Glenn Maxwell as the spinning all-rounder or with Marcus Stoinis.
Since Australia is playing with two frontline spinners and two pace bowlers that have been doing the job so far, the choice should really come down to which batsman is the preferred choice.
We would love to Glenn Maxwell in the team and given the license to play his natural game.
Australia needs desperately for Wade to find some form as well since he is responsible for playing around the lower order batsmen and boost the total score.
The bowling lineup has been doing well and we believe that Josh Hazelwood will continue to trouble the Indian batsmen in this test match. Lyon is struggling with a bleeding finger while it remains to be seen how effective O’Keefe will be on pitches that do not turn as much.
We would recommend backing Hazelwood to be the highest wicket taker for Australia in this match even though he will bowl a considerable lesser number of overs than the spinners.
Pitch and Conditions
The Ranchi Pitch has a high amount of soil content, something that sees pitches crack up rather than crumble, as often seen in India. There will no lateral movement or moisture in the pitch for the fast bowlers. The spinners will get assistance throughout the game but the zip off the pitch will be missing.
We think that high first inning scores should be expected along while the second innings of both teams will be much more difficult.
The toss will play a crucial role once more.
India has the momentum on their side and will be keen to show that the loss in the first match was just a blip. Australia is the clear underdogs in this matchup and we think that the chances of them causing an upset this time around are almost non-existent.
Back India To Win.
Winner: India, 1.61 @ Bet on India now