Australia vs India: 2nd Test, Preview- Tim Paine’s men look to capitalise on injury-hit visitors
The stadium is set to host its first ever Test match.
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Prior to the Test series, India were deemed to be the favourites against hosts Australia. Even as Tim Paine and Co were ranked number five, the visiting team started the series as International Cricket Council’s (ICC) number-one ranked Test team. However, the first encounter at the renowned Adelaide Oval turned out to be a closely-fought one and in the end, India won by 31 runs.
It was only India’s sixth Test victory on Australian soil. Going into the second Test, which gets underway tomorrow at the new Perth Stadium, Virat Kohli’s men have been encountered with a couple of body blows. While off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin developed an abdominal strain, middle-order batsman Rohit Sharma succumbed to a back injury owing to which both have been ruled out.
The news of Ashwin’s omission would’ve come as a breath of fresh air for the Aussie left-handers, who strained to find their feet against the offie. The curators have also dished out a green top for the encounter and hence it won’t spring a surprise if the fast bowlers spew venom. Perth has traditionally been tough for batsmen and the batters are speculated to be in for a stern examination.
Aussies have already announced their eleven for the contest. The onus would be on Finch and Harris to contribute at the top of the order. Usman Khawaja and Shaun Marsh are the men in the middle order with Handscomb and Head to bat next. Paine has recovered from the finger injury. The fast bowling department would be shouldered by Cummins, Starc, and Hazlewood with Lyon as the spin bowling option.
Aaron Finch, Marcus Harris, Usman Khawaja, Shaun Marsh, Peter Handscomb, Travis Head, Tim Paine (C & wk), Pat Cummins, Mitchell Starc, Nathan Lyon, Josh Hazlewood.
Bearing in mind the nature of the strip, India may go with an all-pace attack and therefore Bhuvneshwar Kumar may be roped in. Hanuma Vihari is most likely to replace Rohit Sharma. Rahul and Vijay are the openers with the reliable Cheteshwar Pujara at number three. Kohli, Rahane, Pant, and Vihari are the other batters. Along with Bhuvneshwar, Ishant, Shami, and Bumrah are the other fast bowlers in the lineup.
Lokesh Rahul, Murali Vijay, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli (C), Ajinkya Rahane, Rishabh Pant (wk), Hanuma Vihari, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Ishant Sharma, Mohammed Shami, Jasprit Bumrah
Focus will be on
Mitchell Starc- Australia
The experienced campaigner picked up five wickets in Adelaide Oval, but most of them were lower order scalps. The left-armer wasn’t quite at his best and sprayed the ball around, allowing the batsmen to milk him without much fuss. He was subsequently criticised for his lacklustre performance. The 28-year-old would definitely want to put his best foot forward in Perth.
Murali Vijay- India
The Tamil Nadu-batsman made his international comeback in the erstwhile match. However, the veteran flattered to deceive. And on both the instances, he perished to Starc, flirting outside the off-stump. The right-hander tried to make amends in the second innings, but couldn’t cash in on the steady start. Another poor show can see him out of the national team as well.
Head to Head
Overall – 95 | Australia won – 41 | India won – 25 | Tie – 1 | Draw – 26
Matches – 45 | Australia won – 28 | India won – 6 | Draw – 11
106- Runs KL Rahul needs to complete 2000 Test runs.
9– Wickets Mitchell Starc needs to complete 200 Test wickets.
TV – Sony Six and Sony Six HD
Live Streaming – Sony LIV
Match Timings – 07.50 IST; 10.20 local