IND vs AUS Match Preview
Rohit Sharma was the standout batter for India in the first Test with support from the middle and lower order. KL Rahul, Cheteshwar Pujara (playing his 100th Test), and Virat Kohli all failed to perform. This is why adding Shreyas Iyer, India's best player of spin right now, is a big boost for the Indian team.
Srikar Bharat, R Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, and Axar Patel form one of the most formidable lower-order batting lineups in the world right now, at least in home conditions. They allow India to get the extra 50-100 runs without compromising its bowling.
All three spinners will play a central role in this match on a pitch that is once again expected to spin sharply. Mohammad Shami and Mohammad Siraj were excellent with the new ball and ensure there is no respite for the opposition batters at any time.
Australia went with just four bowlers in the previous match and that was a mistake. If they genuinely want to win then they need to play with five bowlers. Cameron Green being available for selection could help solve that problem but then one out of Travis Head, David Warner, or Peter Handscomb will miss out.
Changing the team around so frequently will affect the morale of the lineup and put pressure on all of the players that are playing. Having so many left-handers in the lineup is a big problem for Australia and they will continue to remain very susceptible to the Indian spinners, all of whom are brilliant against lefties.
That leaves Steve Smith and Marnus Labuschagne to score the bulk of the runs. They both showed promise but may need to come up with their absolute best to be able to make a major mark against the Indian spinners.
Australia's bowlers did quite well in the previous Test. Todd Murphy started with seven wickets, Nathan Lyon bowled well without reward, and Scott Boland was very accurate. Pat Cummins is also too good a bowler to miss out for too long.
The weather is quite good in Delhi. The temperatures have started to rise as the winter recedes but they should still be quite comfortable to play in. Also, the air quality and the visibility are among the best the city has seen in a long time.
The pitch is going to be dry and take turn. Delhi generally offers up a surface that takes sharp turn. That can make it much more difficult to negotiate than a pitch like what we saw in Nagpur. Another match that progresses rapidly and struggles to reach the fourth day is likely.
Welcome to the Kotla, Mate
India has a similar record at the Kotla (or the Arun Jaitley Stadium) as Australia had at the Gabba. It has not been beaten here in nearly three decades and will be very confident of continuing that record.
Cameron Green is almost certain to play this match. Shreyas Iyer is also fit for selection and should walk into the playing eleven.
IND vs AUS Probable 11
IND Playing 11
- Rohit Sharma (C)
- KL Rahul
- Cheteshwar Pujara
- Virat Kohli
- Shreyas Iyer
- Srikar Bharat (Wk)
- R Ashwin
- Ravindra Jadeja
- Axar Patel
- Mohammad Shami
- Mohammad Siraj
AUS Playing 11
- David Warner
- Usman Khawaja
- Marnus Labuschagne
- Steve Smith
- Peter Handscomb
- Alex Carey (Wk)
- Cameron Green (C)
- Pat Cummins
- Nathan Lyon
- Todd Astle
- Matthew Kuhnemann
We have no hesitation in backing India once again. This Indian team is one of the best of all time. Their dominance in home conditions is approaching legendary status and there does not seem to be any apparent weakness. India is capable of dominating and winning in any country but while playing at home, it is the most difficult team to beat.
Ashwin and Jadeja: Is this a no-brainer or what? Add all the spinners (Axar, Murphy, and Lyon) that you can.
Steve Smith: He and Shreyas Iyer are the best players of spin in this match. They are the batters that we will bank on.
Matthew Kuhnemann: If he plays, Kuhnemann could be an excellent differentiator in this match.
IND vs AUS Dream11 Team 1
Keeper: P Handscomb
Batters: R Sharma, S Smith, S Iyer, M Labuschagne
All-rounders: R Jadeja (C), R Ashwin (VC), A Patel, C Green
Bowlers: N Lyon, T Murphy