In a closely fought encounter in the first test played in Adelaide, India overcame a resilient Australian lower-order to win the game. This was only their sixth win Down Under.
Having been outplayed by the Indians in almost all departments, Australia would look to bounce back in their own den. Since the ban on Steven Smith, David Warner and Cameron Bancroft due to ‘Sandpaper Gate’, the Baggy Greens have languished in almost all their matches and are yet to register a win in a Test match. The pitch in the newly built Optus Stadium, however, might suit the Australians. The track for the game is covered with green grass that might help the bowlers to extract bounce and movement.
The Indians, on the other hand, will be pretty confident when they come out at Perth. They would be assured about their pacers who have troubled and demolished batsmen in South Africa, England along with the recently concluded Adelaide Test. Their only major concern would be batting wherein the batsmen need to play as a team, and not solely depend on individual laurels.
The Second Test is thus, expected to be a thrilling contest wherein the winner between the Australian bowlers and Indian batsmen will decide the outcome of the match.
Daunting Bowling Attack – Since the pitch is covered with green grass, it is expected that the Australian pace attack will dominate the Indian batsmen. Mitchell Starc and co. will try to dismantle them as quickly as possible for a paltry score. This will enable their batsmen to take a considerable lead which would give the Kangaroos an edge over the Men in Blue.
Significant contribution from the Lower Order – All of the Aussie bowlers can hang around in the middle. They have the capability to either go all gun blazing or can defend depending upon the situation. This was also evident in the First Test, where they didn’t surrender and kept on fighting until their last wicket thus dragging the game very close, giving goosebumps to the fans.
Unsettled Batting Line-up – The Kangaroos have yet not managed to fill the gaps left by the bans on Smith and Warner. Their batting is unpredictable and considering the pitch in Perth Test and the pace-attack that India possess, the Aussies would really have to show resilience and grittiness while batting.
Stable Middle-Order – The form of Indian middle-order was a big worry since their below par performance in South Africa and England. But, their recent showing in Adelaide has given an advantage to the Indians who it seems have learnt from their past failures and have adapted to the conditions quite well. Although, Virat Kohli didn’t score much in the first test, but one can never keep him out of contention. Cheteshwar Pujara and Ajinkya Rahane are back at what they do best and even Rishabh Pant’s attacking play will aid India in posting a par total.
Formidable Pace-attack – Dismantling South Africa, England and now Australia, this fiery pace attack of the Indians is undoubtedly the best pace-attack that the country has ever possessed. With the wicket in Perth believed to help quicks, it would be no surprise if Indians run through the Aussie batsmen cheaply.
Inability to dismantle the Lower-Order – India’s inability to effectively brush aside the lower-order almost cost them the First Test, when Mitchell Starc, Nathan Lyon, Pat Cummins and Josh Hazlewood almost took Australia home with a victory. This needs to be resolved otherwise it may hamper India’s chances of win in Perth as scoring on the greeny-grass pitch would be tough. India have already lost their series in South Africa and England due to their incapability of picking up wickets of the tail-enders and if they are to win in Australia, they need to make sure to get the lower-order wickets.
Lack of support from the Lower-Order – Another aspect that had hindered India’s chance of winning in South Africa and England was the lack of contribution by the lower-order batsmen. Even in Adelaide, the Indian top-order and middle-order took the team to a comfortable position but a sudden collapse from the lower-order decimated the advantage that the team had managed to achieve.
Read more about- Top five bowling performances when India toured Down Under
Since we expect Indian bowlers to diminish Australian batsmen easily, it would be a battle of Australian bowlers against the Indian batsmen as to who gains an advantage in the test. We at Sportswizz predict India to win the match comfortably as they are well-balanced in both the departments as compered to the Aussies.