India will go head to head against Australia in the second Test of the four-match series, beginning Friday. The two teams will meet at the Optus in Perth.
With the pitch at Perth set to offer bounce and pace, Indian captain Virat Kohli said that the Indian team was more excited than nervous going into the match.
India have a strong pace attack with the likes of Ishant Sharma, Mohammed Shami, Jasprit Bumrah, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, and Umesh Yadav.
In line with tradition at Perth, a raging quick wicket has been laid out for the second Test along with a healthy layering of grass, which could impact strategies for both teams.
Former England captain Michael Vaughan has said that preparing a green track for the second Test might backfire for the hosts.
Vaughan noted that Indian pacers performed better than their Australian counterparts in the first Test. “Certainly from seeing the Indian attack in England and at the Adelaide Oval, Bumrah (Jasprit), Shami (Mohammad) and Sharma (Ishant) will be going to bed tonight thinking thank you. The actual three quicks of India out bowled the three quicks of Australia. They were outstanding. It’s a big big risk that Australia are taking,” the former England captain said, Indian Express reported.
Despite Aaron Finch’s double failure and a 31-run defeat in the first Test, Australia have named an unchanged XI, which means Mitchell Marsh has been benched again. Aaron Finch, Marcus Harris, Usman Khawaja, Shaun Marsh, Peter Handscomb, Travis Head, Tim Paine (C & wk), Mitchell Starc, Pat Cummins, Nathan Lyon, and Josh Hazlewood could start for Australia.
India’s 13-man squad for the Test includes Virat Kohli (C), Murali Vijay, KL Rahul, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane, Hanuma Vihari, Rishabh Pant (WK), Ravindra Jadeja, Ishant Sharma, Mohammed Shami, Jasprit Bumrah, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Umesh Yadav.
Ashwin, Rohit Sharma, and Prithvi Shaw ruled out due to injuries
India suffered a three-prong blow to their squad ahead of the second Test at the Optus in Perth. R Ashwin has an abdominal strain on his left side, and Rohit Sharma has a jarred lower back, which meant that both of them would not start the game.
Prithvi Shaw continues to be on the path to recovery after his ankle injury during the practice match against Cricket Australia XI. India lead the four-match Test series 1-0 following a 31-run win in the first Test in Adelaide.
Rohit had been taken off the field in the second innings, and has unfortunately been unable to recover. Hanuma Vihari could be seen as Rohit’s replacement.
Ashwin’s injury will definitely affect India after he took six wickets in the first Test to make a difference with persistent line and length and made the most of the rough patches.
Shaw was seen running up and down the Adelaide Oval on the fifth day of the opening Test as he continued to get back to full fitness. “Shaw is recovering well from his left ankle injury but still undergoing treatment,” BCCI said in a release, as per an Indian Express report.
Elton Gomes is a staff writer at Qrius
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