Our prediction is that India will win the second Test at the Perth stadium to make it 2-0 in the series!
The “Scaredy Bats” have done it. India have won the opening Test for the first time in Australia. That's one item ticked off their list of things to do in Australia. The 31-run victory was the 3rd lowest margin in terms of runs. It had no business getting that close if not for the fight shown by Australian tail after the head of the batting gave it away.
Take nothing away from the Indian bowlers who refused to be desperate and stuck to the plan right till the end. All the bowling efforts would have been for nothing if one man, Cheteshwar Pujara, hadn’t stood up for India in the first inning after the top order collapse on the first morning.
Aussies tried everything but could not get past Pujara and India’s relentless bowling. The host will be looking for a better batting performance in order to topple the spirited Indians.
Australia do not lose at home. There is a 77% chance, the most by any Test playing nation, that Australia would win or draw a Test at home. And yet, they lost the opening Test to India after restricting the guests to 41 for 4 on the first day before Lunch. Australia will rue that chance but know that India were the better team despite not being at their best.
The fight by Travis Head in the first innings and the middle and lower middle order in the second innings did not prove enough to avoid the inevitable defeat. The good thing is they fought like Australia. They were hard to beat when they were expected to roll over easily on the fifth day.
Nathan Lyon will be remembered for he stands in the way every time India comes close to winning a Test at Adelaide. Aussies should take pride in that and some heart too if they could.
TD Paine (c&wk), AJ Finch, MS Harris, JR Hazlewood, UT Khawaja, NM Lyon, MR Marsh, SE Marsh, PM Siddle, MA Starc, CP Tremain
India began the first Test of the series in a rather familiar way until Pujara decided to take matters in his own hands. Top order gave in to some fine bowling with rash drives that had India 4 down for not much. If not for Pujara, the Test would have been lost in that first session.
The eventual score of 250 in the first innings seemed like par score on a sluggish pitch. And then, the Indian bowlers helped achieve a small but crucial 15 run lead that proved to be just the psychological push India were looking for. Some fearless cricket in the second innings had Australia chasing 323. They couldn't complete the highest chase at this venue against an Indian attack that is making a habit of taking 20 wickets away from home regardless of the result of the match.
India must not get ahead of themselves though and start looking too far ahead. They must take it ball by ball, over by over, break by break, day by day to achieve what has never been achieved before.
V Kohli (c), AM Rahane, R Ashwin, JJ Bumrah, B Kumar, Mohammed Shami, RR Pant (wk), CA Pujara, KL Rahul, I Sharma, M Vijay
It is Perth, but it is not the WACA. The new Perth stadium is poised for a grand Test match debut. The ground is being prepared to have all the pace and bounce of the WACA pitch. The pacey and bouncy drop in surface might just be the last thread Australia would hold on to achieve parity in the series.
The team winning the toss should look to Bat first here because chasing in the fourth innings could be difficult especially on an unknown pitch.
Australia does not lose much at home in Tests. And when they do it is seldom the first Test of the series, at least they had never done so before against India in the last 71 years. However, Aussies had to endure it all at Adelaide. Add to it the fact that India were not at their best while batting, the situation starts to look grimmer than it already is for the home side.
India, on the other hand, despite enduring two collapses in two innings, had players for crucial moments. A loss here would have broken them, but they have the belief now. Their number 3 is shining and the bowlers look ready for the grind. Thus, our prediction is that India will secure the series with a win on a new surface at Perth Stadium.
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