Friday, December 03, 2021

India vs Australia, 2nd Test: It is still India’s series to lose, here’s why

India lost the first Test against Australia but with three matches still remaining, it is the hosts' series to lose.

Written by Vinay Siwach | Bangalore |
March 2, 2017 5:49:02 pm
india vs australia, ind vs aus, india vs australia 2017, ind vs aus 2017, india cricket team, india cricket, cricket news, cricket Ajinkya Rahane needs to improve his performance in the middle order. (Source: AP)

By noon on Thursday, the Bangalore pitch had lost its grass, looked dry and golden in colour. The lush green square lad been trimmed. But still there was enough left as well. In most IPL matches, which are in T20 format, the boundaries are smaller and we see total of above 200.

But come Saturday, India and Australia will be playing a five-day game. After suffering a massive 333-run loss in the first game, India are on the backfoot. They will not risk preparing another rank-turner like they did in Pune. Bangalore may be a flat track that takes spin from day three.

Forget pitch. Can India bounce back after suffering a loss after 19 Test matches? Can the hosts return to the winning form they were before Australia halted it and in dramatic fashion?

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Historically, the statistics do not favour India. Last time Australia won the first Test of the series, they went on to win the four-match series 2-1. That was 2004. Three years before that, India won the three-match series 2-1 after that epic Kolkata Test.

Out of the 15 series that India have began with a loss in the first Test, India have gone on to lose 10 of them. Against Australia, India began a series with a loss on seven occasions. The statistic may not be on India’s side but this time, Virat Kohli and his team is not the one that will take a loss to heart and play as timid opponents on the field.

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“Just as you should be calm and composed and not get over-excited when we win, the same way we should stay the same way when we lose. We take it on the chin,” Kohli had said after the Pune loss.

The Indian captain also mentioned that they will attack Australia from ball one in Bangalore and there is no doubt India will do it. The one loss should actually be treated like a wake-up call and reminder for India that they should be over-confident going into any series or match.

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The Pune loss was more humiliating as India were bowled out for 105 and 107 in the two innings and that will hurt India. Even the dependence on R Ashwin, who failed to perform up to expectation, was exposed and India will be wary of repeating it.

Steve Smith led his team with example. While the talk of turning pitches has been put to rest after he scored a century in Pune, the emergence of Steve O’Keefe, who took 12 wickets for 70 runs in Pune, has also given him added confidence.

India should put the Pune defeat behind and start this series all over again. Three matches to go, two new venues, playing in front of the most passionate fans, it is still India’s series to lose.

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