India in a do-or-die situation
Two nights ago India were favourites against an out of form Australian team. Now when they take the field in Melbourne, India will walk in with a danger of losing the first leg of the big tour.
This is not the same Australian side that used to strut around after winning a game. They won’t be overconfident but Aaron Finch’s men will be on the lookout to play a fearless brand of cricket and set things straight against India at the iconic Melbourne Cricket Ground.
From the Indian dugout:
India had a mixed night with the ball where they started on a good note but lost momentum in the middle overs before rain interrupted play and disturbed Australia’s chances of posting a mammoth total.
Krunal Pandya had an off-night in Brisbane but it will not be fair to put the entire blame on him. Khaleel Ahmed, who also proved costly, could make way for Yuzvendra Chahal.
Yes, there is a strong possibility for India to field three spinners in Australia. The boundaries are big and everyone saw what impact Adam Zampa made at The Gabba.
Rain played a fair part in deciding the outcome of the game. Jasprit Bumrah and Bhuvneshwar Kumar both had one over remaining which could have saved a few runs.
India had the advantage of chasing but Rohit falling cheaply gave Australia confidence. Virat Kohli dropped himself to number three by promoting KL Rahul to number three, none of which worked in India’s favour.
The Indians will be wanting to go out and get decent runs under their belt. Rishabh Pant has his ways of scoring runs but if he puts more price to his wicket, India will feel confident to play an extra bowler.
Dinesh Karthik has proved time and again why India trusts him as a specialist batsman. Virat Kohli will also want to play Krunal Pandya to add that extra cushion to his batting.
Considering India eyeing their first-ever Test series victory on Australian soil, a win on Friday will bolster their chances and dent Australia’s spirits.
From the Australian dugout:
In what is considered a dark age of Australian cricket, even a win over prominent Test playing nations is marked as an upset. The hosts played brilliantly to stun India and the men in blue will be aware of what they are capable of.
Australia will most likely field the same XI that won in Brisbane. The hosts will be hoping more from their skipper Aaron Firich and D’Arcy Short at the top. India can challenge Australia’s middle-order with their spin. Chris Lynn showed glimpses of what he can do with the bat when there is pace on offer so India will have to be smart about that. Glenn Maxwell and Marcus Stoinis scoring runs at a brisk pace is always a good news.
While Ben Mcdermott and Alex Carey remained untested, Australia can rely on them too.
As far as their bowling is concerned, Jason Behrendorff and Andrew Tye will like to take a leaf out of Marcus Stoinis’ book. Stoinis didn’t offer any pace to the batsman, forcing them to apply more force to yield runs.
Overall, Australia should be expecting India to come out strong in MCG on Friday.