Before the start of the tour, much was talked about the vulnerability of Australian batsmen against the spin.
In Pune, the hosts got a taste of their own medicine when the move of preparing a rank-turner backfired on them and their famed batting prowess against spin kneeled before the Aussie spinners, and especially Steve O'Keefe. On a pitch that was expected to give the tourists a run for their money, the Indian batting crumbled like a house of cards not once but twice, handing the tourists a massive 333 runs victory.
The second Test at Bengaluru becomes all the more crucial for both the teams, where India will look for a resurgence while the Kangaroos will look to ride on the momentum they built after the victory at Pune.
India Team News
After their shambolic batting performance in the first Test, India needs a positive frame of mind to ward off any Pune demons and in order to achieve that the Indian Team took some time off and went to trekking at Tamhini Ghat in Maharashtra. The main cause of worry for the Indian team is their consistently under-performing opening pair which is not able to lay a good foundation for the rest of the batsmen to build upon.
— BCCI (@BCCI) March 2, 2017
Another department which needs improvement is their fielding after as many as five drop chances of Aussie Skipper, Steve Smith, in the last game. After a dismal show in Pune, Rahane, Jayant Yadav, and Ishant Sharma are in the line of fire. After the Pune debacle, in case India decides to go with an extra batsman, Karun Nair might get a look-in replacing Jayant Yadav.
Australia Team News
The first Test was a testament to the adapting ability of this new-look Australian team which comprehensively outplayed the hosts in their own backyard. The biggest plus points were Steve O'Keefe and the teenager, Matt Renshaw. While O'Keefe's nagging accuracy ran havoc among the Indian batting order, the young Renshaw showed tremendous grit and application on his first outing in the subcontinent.
— Akshay Kumar (@junior_smiths) March 2, 2017
There have been demands to replace underperforming Mitchell Marsh with Glenn Maxwell but considering the fact that Bengaluru pitch will be far more similar to the pitches against England, Aussies might not want to replace him due to his ability to get the reverse swing from the old ball.
India vs Australia 2nd test – Key Players
Ravindra Jadeja – Jadeja was unlucky to show only 5 wickets to his name after the first Test despite bowling brilliantly throughout the Test match. Even Steve Smith, the best tourist batsman, was squared up on a number of occasions of his bowling. He, along with Ashwin, will be striving hard to get that magic back which has kept India on top throughout this home season.
Matt Renshaw – Despite suffering from an upset stomach, the young opener showed great determination and adaptability which allowed him to grind his way through to a well made 68 in the first innings of the first Test. His extended reach and sound technique make him a real threat to India's plans of bouncing back in the series.
India vs Australia 2nd Test Pitch Conditions
After the Pune test match, the pitch, unfortunately, has taken the center stage again. With the coming reports, it seems that the Bengaluru pitch's behaviour will not deviate much from its traditional one, and is expected to be a slow-turner much like the pitches against England. Initially, seamers will be able to get some purchase and in the last two days the spinners, too, will come to the party. The Karnataka State Cricket Association(KSCA) clearly stated that they are looking at a 'sporting pitch' and do not want the Test to be finished inside two days.
— BCCI (@BCCI) March 3, 2017
"We had a chat about it and we're working on few of the areas in which we could have done well in the last Test,''– Murali Vijay, on the weak areas that need improvement to stage a better fight-back in Bengaluru.
"They (India) are the No. 1 Test team in the world. They are a great bunch of players and we know what to expect,''– David Warner, on not getting complacent by the victory in the first Test match.
India vs Australia 2nd Test Squad
India – Lokesh Rahul, Murali Vijay, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli (c), Ajinkya Rahane, Wriddhiman Saha, Ravichandran Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Umesh Yadav, Ishant Sharma, Abhinav Mukund, Karun Nair, Jayant Yadav, Kuldeep Yadav, Hardik Pandya.
Australia – David Warner, Matt Renshaw, Usman Khawaja, Steven Smith (c), Peter Handscomb, Steve O'Keefe, Josh Hazlewood, Nathan Lyon, Shaun Marsh, Jackson Bird, Glenn Maxwell, Mitchell Swepson, Ashton Agar, Matthew Wade, Mitchell Marsh, Mitchell Starc.