India vs Australia, 2nd Test Preview: Virat Kohli & Co gear up to put Aussies under pressure from ball one

Bengaluru Test has been the talking point as soon as Virat Kohli-led India suffered a humiliating defeat in the hands of Steven Smith-led Australia

It will be a new day for Team India as they will try to rub off the stains of Pune Test at Bengaluru. Captain Virat Kohli has already assured his fans that they will put the Australians under pressure from ball one. Even Aussie skipper Steven Smith thinks that the hosts will bounce back after the massacre on Pune pitch. Bengaluru pitch binds promise, not a batting friendly pitch exactly but near perfect for Test cricket.

As Team India will try to get back to winning ways as they will look to avenge Pune defeat. Australians just ended India’s 19 Test unbeaten run. They will be in high spirits after the Pune win which stunned every cricket fan around the world. But the new Aussie brigade has matured and they know that India will bounce back in the series like they always have against them in the past.

There are a few many talking points before the Test as cricket fans around the world wait in the anticipation of what is to come. We all are waiting for the answer to the questions before the Bengaluru Test.

Will Ajinkya Rahane play in Bengaluru Test ahead after much criticism?
Despite whole batting lineup collapsing at the drop of a hat, Rahane has been scrutinised by many for not being dependable anymore. Rahane failed to capitalise on the start he got in both the innings. He has been backed by coach Anil Kumble and Captain Kohli saying that one bad performance cannot make them abandon Rahane all of a sudden. However, there is still a chance that he will be warming benches as Karun Nair’s triple century against England strengthen his claim for a berth in the side.

Will Ishant Sharma and Jayant Yadav get replaced as recommended by former Indian player Mohammad Azharuddin?
Ishant Sharma and Jayant Yadav did not do justice to their talent on a pitch like Pune. There was not much for Sharma but Umesh Yadav’s performance with the ball showed that with extra bounce they can put the batsmen under pressure. Jayant Yadav got heavily criticised as Pune pitch was a rank turner and being a spinner he was expected to take more wickets in the first Test. He has been categorised as a lower order batsman, he could not step up his game in the batting department either. There is a chance that Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Kuldeep Yadav might get a nod in the second Test due to their inability to perform in the second Test.

What should we expect from Bengaluru pitch?
Pune pitch was a nightmare for Indian batsmen as they got bundled out for 105 and 107 in first and second innings respectively. Unlike Pune pitch, Bengaluru surface is supposed to be a bit more batsman-friendly. The game should carry on to the fourth or fifth day of the Test. Despite being a better pitch for batsmen than the previous one, it is expected to support fast bowlers. Mitchell Starc might be a big threat in the next game. Josh Hazlewood too could not be left out as he can be the surprise package for the Australians.

Will Mitchell Starc be a major threat to India in Bengaluru Test?
There is no doubt about this that Starc will pose a threat to Indian batsmen with his raw pace and the extra bounce he can extract from the surface. He will try to lure in batsmen off side off stump in hopes of getting an edge like he got in the first innings of the first Test. Not only Starc’s bowling but his batting skill set cannot be ignored. He scored a crucial half-century in the first Test in the first innings scoring runs at a brisk rate, hitting bowlers for boundaries all over the park. His ability to score runs rapidly down the order is an asset to the Aussies.

Will Steve O’Keefe haunt Indian batsmen once again?
Well, O’Keefe is in good form and in high spirits after decimating India batting lineup single-handedly in both the innings and taking 12 wickets in the match. Though, O’Keefe would be dealt with by Indian batsmen cautiously. Even Captain Kohli has assured everyone in reference to the sensational off-spinner.

Speculations aside India will be looking to repeat the history, making a comeback in the home Test series after a comprehensive win by the Aussies. They have the firepower to tackle Steven Smith’s side. They have worked really hard on their catching skills after a flurry of dropped catches in the first Test. As Kohli said in the press conference today, they needed a knock on the head like this to work on the flaws they might have ignored in the past because of their unbeaten run.