Australia will look to make a come back into the Border-Gavaskar series when they take on India in the second Test at Hyderabad this afternoon. We’ll have live scores and updates from 3.00pm AEDT.
The good news for Australia going into this second Test is that the Hyderabad track can be expected to play a lot better for them than the one at Chennai.
Already signs of it being a better-paced track are present and as a result Australia may not bring in the second spinner most thought was a foregone conclusion for this game.
Now for the bad news. Last time a Test match was played here was in August last year Ravi Ashwin and Pragyan Ojha combined to scalp 18 New Zealand wickets for 175 runs. That’s a measly bowling average of 9.7.
Ashwin was the wrecker-in-chief at Chennai too and going by his form, he will be the bowler to watch out for. Whether or not Ojha plays this game – after being inexplicably dropped for the previous Test – remains to be seen but he has a strong case.
There were batting concerns for both teams at different levels in the first Test. Phil Hughes looked like fish out of water at Chennai, Ed Cowan failed to make a big one after getting a start in both and Shane Watson did not set the ground on fire either.
It was all down to the captain Michael Clarke and debutant Moises Henriques to resurrect the innings both times.
Usman Khawaja, Steven Smith and Glenn Maxwell wait in the ranks but the big question is whether the selectors will make that gutsy call.
India were equally reliant on their captain when it came to putting the runs on the board, seeing its openers fail again.
Murali Vijay’s comeback lasted all of 27 deliveries. Virender Sehwag was at the crease for an over longer but neither looked comfortable facing to the Australian attack.
Going by MS Dhoni’s words in the press conference, it won’t be too far-fetched to conclude that India will look to continue with the same pair.
The other possible change is to do with Ojha. While Australia did show ineptitude playing spin, Hyderabad may not be the best surface to play four spinners, which means Ojha can either come in for Harbhajan Singh or Ravindra Jadeja.
Jadeja’s exclusion could hamper the Indian batting, while Harbhajan seemed to be showing signs of returning to form in the second innings. With the number of left-handers in the Australian team, it could make more sense to play an off-spinner over a left-armer.
The weather at Hyderabad will be very hot but not as humid as in Chennai.
Live coverage of the game begins from 3.00pm AEDT this afternoon, so add your opinion in the comments section below.