India have all but booked themselves a spot in the World Test Championship for the second season running after dismantling league leaders Australia in the second test at the Ferozshah Kotla. The third test, originally scheduled to be held in picturesque Dharamshala, has been shifted to the central city of Indore instead. Here are our talking points from the first two tests.
Too many sweeps from Australia?
The sweep is generally a go-to shot for players not very comfortable with spin. On a pitch with variable low bounce, it was probably not the best idea though. Australia’s batsmen seemed a frazzled lot in Delhi, literally attempting to sweep and reverse sweep everything possible, and nearly half their batsmen in the second innings perished to the shot as the visitors crashed from 85/2 to 113 all out in a matter of ten odd overs. Skipper Pat Cummins and coach Andrew McDonald conceded that they needed to re-visit the strategy.
There were plenty of examples on show that sweeping was not the way to go at the Kotla- Peter Handscomb’s 72 in the first innings and Travis Head’s 43 in the second saw minimal use of that shot. Even the Indian batsmen refrained from using it too much.
India’s lower order impress again with the bat
India’s all-rounder trio of Ravi Jadeja, Ravi Ashwin and Axar Patel have been nothing short of outstanding in these conditions. They have impressed with the ball and more so with the bat, rescuing the hosts from sticky situations. Here at the Kotla, Patel and Ashwin took India from 139/7 to 263 in the first innings- a very decisive partnership in the context of the game.
With the trio in superb form, it comes as no surprise that the odds at Bluechip suggest that India will comfortably win this series. There is also a nice Blue chip casino app for folks interested in trying out their luck in that section. Jadeja and Ashwin have taken 31 of the 40 Aussie wickets to fall in this series so far, and Patel has scored more runs than any other Australian batsman (he’s second to only Rohit Sharma).
Australia need Green and Starc to return
In stark comparison to India, Australia’s lower order have struggled to score runs. They’re missing Cameron Green, with the all-rounder the visitors’ best 2-in-1 player- he’s a solid bat and can also bowl at over 140 if required. With Pat Cummins seemingly down on pace, Mitchell Starc, the faster bowler, and a left handed one at that, could add some much needed variety to the attack in the skipper’s absence in Indore. Starc is also a handy batsman down the order and is more than capable of scoring some quick runs.
Do India bring Gill in?
This was another disappointing test for KL Rahul, and even some former Indian legends chipped in on social media saying that he’s been given too long a rope. With Shubman Gill in fine form, will India axe Rahul for the former in Indore? Coach Rahul Dravid however suggested they were willing to give KL some time, and might not be keen on making changes to a winning side.