As the famous Bert Lance saying goes, ‘If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it’, and that is exactly the motto the visiting Australian cricket team have chosen to abide by. After their massive 333-run win over India in the opening Test against India in Pune, their chosen XI for the second Test remains the same.
The second Test that begins at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium on Saturday, March 4, will most certainly be a different track than the spin-friendly surface of Pune that turned square from day one and earned itself a ‘poor’ rating from the ICC match referee Chris Jordan. Further, it was wrapped by Farokh Engineer and Harbhajan Singh for not being good enough for a five-day Test match.
With a largely dominant show with the bat and the ball from Australia as everyone chipped in with their own roles, including the seamers and exceptional show by the spinners – Steve O’Keefe and Nathan Lyon – any changes were going to be made in lieu of fitness issues but that is not a worry for the 16-member travelling squad.
“It looks a little bit different to the last one (in Pune),” Steve Smith told cricket.com.au on Friday. “I think they were going to cut a little bit more of the grass off, but it looks like a wicket that will have a bit more pace and carry as the game goes on. It will take a bit more spin, but it looks like a wicket that is quite similar to what England played on recently (during their five-Test tour to India late last year) where first innings runs are going to be crucial. If you can go big in the first innings it will set the team up. I think this one is more likely going to be one where we are going to have to go really big, but it could be totally different. It could play totally different to what we think at the moment. It’s about being able to sum it up and being adaptable and being able to communicate straight away what we think the wicket is like,” he added.
Australia XI: Matt Renshaw, David Warner, Steve Smith, Shaun Marsh, Peter Handscomb, Mitchell Marsh, Matthew Wade, Mitchell Starc, Steve O’Keefe, Nathan Lyon, Josh Hazlewood