India has got a wonderful opportunity to win the series: Viv Richards

India has got a wonderful opportunity to win the series: Viv Richards

The third Test begins in Melbourne on December 26 before Sydney hosts the final tie from January 3 next year.

Viv Richards
Former Windies cricketer Sir Viv Richards. (Photo by Kunal Patil/Hindustan Times via Getty Images)

India’s tour of Australia which had such a promising start for the visiting team in Adelaide looks like falling apart at the moment. India beat the hosts by 31 runs to win the series-opener and started the four-match series in the best possible manner. However, Tim Paine & Co. proved that they are not mere pushovers even in the absence of their batting stalwarts – David Warner and Steve Smith.

Australia bounced back from the defeat in style by dismantling the tourists by 146 runs in the second Test in Perth. Right from the toss till the last ball of the game, almost everything went Australia’s way. Batting first on a green top, the hosts came up with a fine effort to pile up 326. In reply, India were all out for 283 despite their skipper Virat Kohli scoring a majestic ton. In the second essay, Australia scored 243, thus setting India a target of 287 runs.

But India never looked in contention to chase down the total. They kept on losing wickets at regular intervals and surrendered meekly in the end, getting all out for just 140. No surprises then that the momentum is firmly with the high-flying hosts.

What further made things worse for the Indian camp was the criticism it faced for the antics in Perth. Captain Kohli was at the heart of all the actions as he initiated a verbal duel with his Australian counterpart, Tim Paine. Ishant Sharma and Ravindra Jadeja were later spotted arguing with each other as tension bubbled in Perth. With the Indian camp pretty much in unrest, Australia will be fancying their chances.

Sir Viv Richards backs Kohli-led India

Well, despite the momentum being in Australia’s favour, former West Indies skipper Sir Viv Richards has backed Kohli to drag India to a series victory. Richards believes Kohli’s leadership qualities and “stomach to compete” should hold India in good stead in the two remaining games.

“India has got a wonderful opportunity to win the series. They would have had a setback in Perth but they can still win. They have a captain like Virat who wears his heart on his sleeve and he has the stomach to compete and drag his players to victory,” Richards was quoted as saying on NDTV.

And while he reiterated that India are favourites to win the series, he warned the visitors against getting complacent.

“I am still backing them (the Indian team) to win the series but one should never ever forget, the Australians without Steve Smith or (David) Warner are still a formidable force. What they miss in talent, they will bring it in their attitude,” he added.

The third Test begins in Melbourne on December 26 before Sydney hosts the final tie from January 3 next year.

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~ Written by Bijoy

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