Bangaulu: Australian cricket fans back home seem to have very high expectations from their cricket team after they inflicted a humiliating defeat on the hosts, Indians. Having beaten India fare and square in just three days, the Aussies are gearing to face a resurgent India in Bangalore.
The Pune test going so easily in Australian kitty was never really expected. The visitors are a formidable side. There is no doubt about it. But Australian team today is merely a pale shadow of its great past. They have been beaten by New Zealand very recently and their victory in the first test match of the series had come after a gap of several test losses.
Opposite was the case for the Indian cricket team that has been winning and winning and winning. Now the sudden shock of the loss and that too early, made the loss unbelievable for the Indian cricket fans.
India cricket fans were expecting the Indian spinners to show Aussies their place. But absolutely opposite happened as Steve O’Keefe put the Indians on the mat not in one inning, but both the innings of the match. He scaled as many as 12 wickets in the match that were evenly divided in both the series.
There is no denying that pressure was on Kohli’s mind after the match, too. “How badly we batted in the first innings is the main reason why we couldn’t get back into the game…We put ourselves under a lot of pressure” said the Indian captan. The intensity will only increase in Bengaluru, where Australia are in the unexpected position of being able to retain the Border-Gavaskar Trophy by the halfway point of the series. Kohli’s men must find a way to turn around their fortunes quickly, or else an ignominious fate awaits them.
Will Australian side be able to repeat their performance with bat and ball in Bangalore too, is a question that everyone is asking. Steve O’Keefe was Man of the Match in Pune for his twin 6 for 35s, but on a very difficult batting pitch Steven Smith stood head and shoulders above any other batsman with his 109. Only two Australians had previously made second-innings hundreds in Tests in India: Mark Taylor and Damien Martyn. There is no denying that Steven Smith is very strong mentally. He will have to lead from the front to help his side retain the trophy. But it looks difficult as Kohli’s boys are rooting for revenge.
1 KL Rahul, 2 M Vijay, 3 Cheteshwar Pujara, 4 Virat Kohli (capt), 5 Ajinkya Rahane, 6 Wriddiman Saha (wk), 7 R Ashwin, 8 Ravindra Jadeja, 9 Jayant Yadav, 10 Ishant Sharma, 11 Umesh Yadav.
1 David Warner, 2 Matt Renshaw, 3 Steven Smith (capt), 4 Shaun Marsh, 5 Peter Handscomb, 6 Mitchell Marsh, 7 Matthew Wade (wk), 8 Mitchell Starc, 9 Steve O’Keefe, 10 Nathan Lyon, 11 Josh Hazlewood.