Updated: June 30, 2020 5:37:16 pm
India play Australia in Bengaluru for the second of the four match Test series on Thursday. Going by recent history, India are in unfamiliar territory as they go into this match. They were thrashed by Australia in the first Test held at Pune by 333 runs. Australia’s Steve O’Keefe was the destroyer in chief as he took six wickets in both of India’s innings to bundle out the hosts for 105 and 107. But, while the Indian and most of Australian batsmen struggled on the rank turner that was the Pune pitch, Steve Smith flourished.
The Australian skipper could only make 27 in the first innings but he made 109 in the second. In the post match press conference, he admitted to riding his luck a little bit as he was dropped twice in his second outing. Moreover, he also escaped two dismissals as he India had used up all their reviews. Even after considering all this, there is no doubt that he proved his mettle as one of the best batsmen in the world by scoring more runs than India could in both their innings. It was because him that Australia managed to get a 440-run lead.
All this Australia managed without David Warner firing in both innings. Virat Kohli and co. would only be making a mistake judging Warner by his outing at Pune. The Australian opener came into the international limelight for his exploits in the Indian Premier League with the Delhi Daredevils. He has remained one of the most sought after players ever since and so, playing in India is not an alien experience for him. He also has a history against India in Tests having scored twin centuries at Adelaide in 2014. He has never scored a Test century in India but that certainly is not a reflection of his capabilities.
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Smith and Warner are easily the most prized assets for Australia in any match. Hence, at Bengaluru, India pretty much have their task cut out; take out the Australian skipper and his deputy before they are settled in the middle and the hosts are already half way there.
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