Team India will lock horns with the in-form Australian team at the Melbourne Cricket Ground. The second test of the 4-match Test series is set to begin on the 26th and the boxing day test is expected to attract huge attendance.
This first test between the two sides turned out to be a nightmare for the visitors and their fans as Virat Kohli and Co. were bundled out for a mere 36 runs, which is now the record lowest score for Team India in test matches and the joint-fourth lowest overall. They would be more disappointed with the fact that they had a handsome lead of 55 runs after the first innings but the first session of Day 3 was when the Australians made the inroad.
The Indian team which will now be led by Ajinkya Rahane will be looking to start afresh and leave behind the baggage of the Adelaide Test. Though it does look very difficult for the visitors to be able to level series.
Cricwizz today brings you three reasons why Team India might lose the second test.
With the departure of Virat Kohli, the leadership role will now be taken over by his long-time deputy Ajinkya Rahane. The 32-year old is not new to this role as he has led various sides at the domestic level and also has led Team India in tests on two occasions. Interestingly, the first time Rahane led India was against Australia as well. The second time though was the minnows Afghanistan. Said that, he has led India to victory on both occasions.
This will be the first time Rahane leads the team away from home and that could pose a huge challenge especially given the current state of the line-up. Two things would be running on the back of his mind- the bad call which led to the dismissal of Kohli in the first test and the fact that India were demolished in the first innings.
It does look difficult for India to bounce back but if Ajinkya Rahane and Co. can manage to, It definitely would be one of the best comebacks in the sport.
2) Openers dilemma
The Indians for the first time in the recent past have been facing an issue in selecting their openers. Team India have always been a team that produces openers of the world-class level. Said that, the absence of star opener Rohit Sharma and unjustified dropping of southpaw Shikhar Dhawan has made team India look for the youngsters to don the role.
The first test saw Mayank Agarwal open the innings with Prithvi Shaw. The pair showed signs of inexperience from ball one. Their footwork combined with the short bowling of the Aussies witnessed the openers dismissed cheaply in both the innings.
It looks very likely that the young opener Prithvi Shaw will be replaced by the 21-year old Shubman Gill and he could be accompanied by KL Rahul. This does once again expose a new opening pair but India will be hoping they deliver the goods this time.
The other changes the skipper and management would be looking forward to would be the replacement of Saha by Rishabh Pant as he could add more firepower in the line-up and also the 23-year old showcased excellent form in the recently played warm-up game.
These changes do look good for India looking from the future aspect of things but the inexperience and pressure of bouncing back are likely to put Team India on the back foot for this encounter.
3) India’s poor overseas record
India’s overseas record has always been poor and it is likely to dent their confidence even more after the thumping defeat they experienced in the first test. They have a very poor record in Australia, winning only 7 out of 49 matches played. This does promise to be an even contest as Rahane and Pujara both have scored centuries in Melbourne and they will surely lead the fightback. But will that be enough to get past the mighty Australians?
The match definitely will be more even this time. Both the teams are bombarded with injuries. Considering the pressure to bounce back and also the number of forced changes Team India will have to make for this encounter. Australia is likely to go up 2-0 in the series.
Cover Credits: CricketCircle