Having not been given much of a chance before the start of the series, Australia ended India’s 19-match unbeaten streak in Test cricket with a comprehensive win in the first Test at Pune recently.
In the process, India suffered their first loss at home in Test cricket in over four years. The last time they were beaten in the longest format of the game was in December 2012.
The hosts will be keen to bounce back and show that the loss in the first Test was just a minor blip. They haven’t been put under pressure and this situation will surely test the character of Virat Kohli’s men.
Australia, on the other hand, will aim to build on their performance and show people that their victory wasn’t a one-off.
DATE, TIME, VENUE INFO
Date: 4 March – 8 March 2017
Time: 09:30 local time (IST), 04:00 GMT, 08:00 GST
Venue: M Chinnaswamy Stadium, Bengaluru
WHERE TO WATCH, LIVE STREAMING INFO
TV: UAE – OSN Sports Cricket HD, India – Star Sports 1, HD 1 [English], Star Sports 3, HD 3 [Hindi], Australia – Fox Sports 3
Online streaming: hotstar.com, Hotstar app [in India only]
LIVE blog: Sport360 blog
TEAM NEWS, SQUAD, PREDICTED XI
INDIA SQUAD: Virat Kohli (c), Murali Vijay, KL Rahul, Abhinav Mukund, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane, Karun Nair, Wriddhiman Saha (wk), Ravichandran Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Jayant Yadav, Hardik Pandya, Umesh Yadav, Ishant Sharma, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Kuldeep Yadav.
India have used the strategy of five specialist bowlers recently with great success, but this tactic came under criticism after they were bowled out for 105 and 107 in the Pune Test.
There is talk that Karun Nair could come into the XI in place of Jayant Yadav to add more batting firepower to the team. The Chinnaswamy Stadium is also Nair’s home ground and he knows the conditions well so that could be a factor in his selection.
In the fast bowling department, don’t be surprised if Bhuvneshwar Kumar is drafted back into the XI at the expense of Ishant Sharma who went wicketless in the first Test.
Hardik Pandya has been ruled out due to an injury, but the other 15 players remain available for selection.
PREDICTED INDIA XI: Vijay, Rahul, Pujara, Kohli (c), Rahane, Nair, Saha (wk), Ashwin, Jadeja, Bhuvneshwar, Umesh.
AUSTRALIA SQUAD: Steve Smith (c), David Warner, Ashton Agar, Jackson Bird, Peter Handscomb, Josh Hazlewood, Usman Khawaja, Nathan Lyon, Mitchell Marsh, Shaun Marsh, Glenn Maxwell, Stephen O’Keefe, Matthew Renshaw, Mitchell Starc, Mitchell Swepson, Matthew Wade (wk).
Australia have already announced they will play an unchanged XI in the second Test, meaning Darren Lehmann’s side will use two spinners and two pacers [and the all-round ability of Mitchell Marsh].
There were some doubts raised about the places of the Marsh brothers in the team, but the Australian coaches are willing to back the duo.
The likes of Usman Khawaja and Glenn Maxwell will have to wait to get their chance in the series.
PREDICTED AUSTRALIA XI: Warner, Renshaw, Smith (c), S Marsh, Handscomb, M Marsh, Wade (wk), Starc, O’Keefe, Lyon, Hazlewood.
(Last five Test matches – with latest match first)
INDIA: L W W W W
AUSTRALIA: W W W W W
India to bounce back and win.
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