The Indian cricket team beat Australia by 31 runs in a closely fought first Test held in Adelaide. India set a 323-run target for the hosts, who took the fight to eventually fall for 291 runs. The second Test starts in Perth from Friday and there is everything to look forward to. And we come to this important analysis on how India’s Adelaide triumph can help them seal Test series?
India have a significant a 1-0 lead in the four-match Test series and Perth Test promises to be a cracking affair. Australia will be counting on the fast bowlers to do the job for them on a pace-friendly pitch at Perth. India will be counting on the same factor as well.
WACA curator Brett Sipthorpe said that a green, fast and bouncy wicket will await both India and Australia in Perth. According to a report in cricket.com.au, Sipthorpe said, “We’ve just been told make it fast, make it bouncy if you can and run with it”.
So no matter how excited the Aussies seem, the pitch in Perth can actually help India and give them an advantage as well. If India can get a result here, then the tone will be set for the remainder of the Test series.
Earlier in Adelaide, Cheteshwar Pujara slammed 123 and 71 to help India seal a memorable victory. This was India’s 6th Test win on Aussie soil. And things can get prettier for Kohli’s men.
Here are the 5 reasons on how India can go and do the job.
Indian pace bowlers have been superb
India may have lost the Test series away from home to South Africa and England earlier this year, but one things that defined the team was the bowling performance. The bowlers took 20 wickets at regular intervals.
And the trend continued in Adelaide as well. The three pacers shared 14 wickets between them. Going into the Perth test, Indian pacers will be looking to have a crack once again. This is India’s best bowling unit since a long time.
When India take the field in Perth, the onus will be on the quartet to deliver. And skipper Kohli said that he remains confident on his pacers in the press conference. “We certainly get more excited than nervous looking at lively pitches now because we understand that we do have a bowling attack that can bowl the opposition out as much as they are confident about their attack”.
So another 20 scalps could mean a lot for India.
Seniors Pujara and Rahane have started well
A lot of focus was on Pujara and Ajinkya Rahane coming into India’s Test series against Australia. One needed the two senior figures to chip in and they accepted the challenge in Adelaide. That will give the side a lot of confidence going forward.
Pujara showed grit and character and was on a different ball game altogether. He took over the responsibility and showed that he is ready to bat wisely in the best possible manner. Rahane, too came strong and scored a vital 70 in the 2nd innings. The batting can no longer revolve around Kohli.
It also puts less pressure on Kohli to score the bulk of runs. In the second Test, the Indian bating will be tested against serious pace and bounce, and if the trio can handle that well, then the visitors will breathe easy. MCG and the SCG are familiar grounds for India, therefore things could ease out.
Chance for India to test bench strength
India can really bank upon the stellar start they got in Adelaide. And now in the second Test, the visitors can test their bench strength with injuries to R Ashwin and Rohit Sharma.
Players like Ravindra Jadeja and Hanuma Vihari could get a look in and what it does is that, the duo will not be short of game time. If any concerns come post this Test, the players will be ready. Both players impressed in the fifth Test against England in September. That was also their first match of the tour.
To go 1-0 up means lots for the side. This victory can propel them to be wise with team selection. India will be ready with a better frame of mind. The overall show will guide them and make them more hungrier to get the job done wholly.
India can target Australian batsmen
Australia do not possess the batting of yesteryears and the absence of Steve Smith and David Warner have hurt the side. Indian bowlers can target the batting that looks a bit short of confidence.
Also the rash shots by some of the batsmen means that the hosts have issues. India can feed on the same and come out on top for the remainder of the series. Aussies have plenty of chinks in their armour and not every time their tail can come and rescue the team.
With the form the Indian bowling is at the moment, there will be constant threats looming for Aussies.
Kohli’s captaincy deserves a shout
The Indian captain led the side well in Adelaide and he can once again get the team to do the job. The 30-year-old was brilliant in handling the bowlers well and his passion was telling, The manner in which he celebrated the wickets showed that he is ready for the challenge and is in a happy frame of mind.
Also he looks relaxed and satisfied. Credit to the team’s victory in Adelaide that this has come up. Kohli being in a positive zone is what India need at the moment.
Come Friday, we might see the skipper charged up and showing his prowess in the field once again.