Australia will be desperate to turn things around in the second match of their series against India when the sides head to Perth for the first ever Test at Optus Stadium. The hosts were outplayed during the first Test in Adelaide. While the final margin of victory might have only read 31 runs, they were lucky to get that close against an Indian side who proved why they are one of, if not the best in the world right now. It was only the batting throughout the second innings from the tail – with Nathan Lyon, in particular, standing out – which allowed Australia to get anywhere near the target and give fans of both nations multiple heart attacks on Monday afternoon as the game was gone, then back on, then gone again.
India won’t be impressed they let the Aussies get as close as they did, but will still be impressed overall with their performance. There are, of course, areas to clean up. They lost wickets early on Day 1 against a seeming ball and that will again be the case should they win the toss and bat again in Perth. They also struggled to close out the match with some sloppy fielding on Day 5, while the main difference between the sides was Cheteswhar Pujara – something they will want to address in the form of others scoring big runs.
India: Virat Kohli, M Vijay, KL Rahul, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane, Hanuma Vihari, Rishabh Pant (WK), Ravindra Jadeja, Ishant Sharma, Mohammed Shami, Jasprit Bumrah, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Umesh Yadav.
Australia: Peter Siddle, Mitchell Starc, Chris Tremain, Josh Hazlewood, Mitch Mars, Pat Cummins, Aaron Finch, Tim Paine (wk), Peter Handscomb, Marcus Harris, Travis Head, Usman Khawaja, Nathan Lyon, Shaun Marsh.
My PlayerzPot XI:
India will look to create a winning streak with this one while Australia can emerge strongly as well after learning from past mistakes but the pitch at Perth can prove advantageous.