The series might stand at 1-1 but it is much more than that. The way India forced their comeback after the Adelaide KO, it was a spectacular sight in return motion. Ajinkya Rahane suddenly became a cult figure and the Indian bowling unit found an able leader in Jasprit Bumrah – the once in a generation talent whose effervescence effectively told a story of grit and determination.
On the other hand, Australia found themselves at a deadlock. The biggest star of the generation is under fire, the rising apprentice is failing to muster enough momentum while the opening conundrum is laughing at themselves. These are questions very tough to answer but Justin Langer, the man who has been entrusted with one of the biggest responsibilities of Australian life, will be keen to put an end to it.
We, at CricXstay, take a look at some of the issues plaguing them at the moment.
Australia’s Opening Dilemma
Leave the problems of 2020 aside, we are in 2021. But Cricket Australia would disagree.
They have tried N number of players but let alone anyone spearing the image of David Warner, they have failed to do a Phil Jaques. Cricket Australia would desperately hope David Warner recovers fully and Will Pucovski repeats his Sheffield Shield heroics in the Sydney Test. With Matthew Wade partnering Joe Burns in the first couple of Tests, it was a failed plan but Wade somehow showed grittiness.
Does that mean Wade, a left-handed batsman, would go down the order and take Travis Head’s place who looked woefully out of place? Cameron Green, with the knock in the second innings, have ensured he is undroppable for the Sydney game and that is the most ideal situation Langer would want.
Facing Spin musings
India used trail by spin with Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja attacking from both ends and it spelled the death keel with Ashwin shredding the defensive mindset and attacking almost with every ball. Steve Smith faced the maximum problem with Ashwin’s leg-stump trap pushing him to the brink.
India is all set to continue the same tactics in the next game as well and Australia will have to find a way to tackle the situation. Ravindra Jadeja is slowly becoming a behemoth for the Indian side and his firing rockets to break the partnerships is an effective exercise. Australian batsmen need to be wary of him, as much as they do about his sword celebrations. It will require a lot of determination and then some more.
Sticking to plans and not getting carried away
Led by Mitchell Starc, Australian bowlers sent in a barrage of bouncers along the way against the Indian tail-enders – possibly as a tactic to intimidate the untrained batsmen. The morality of the code could be questioned, especially for the fact that Mohammed Shami was injured by the same tactics in the Adelaide game, but that is a discussion for another day. Despite the barrage of bouncers coming their way, Indian bowlers didn’t resort to such a tactics and instead kept their calm and stuck to a plan.
It showed the maturity level of the Indian bowlers and perhaps therein lied a lesson for the Australian team. Australia need to do a favour to their own game by not doing too much and instead playing to the potential. If they can plan their way around, a wicket would always come their way and they won’t have to resort to any tactic that is fraught with danger.
Come January 7, they will have a huge test in front of them, and caressing through it will be fundamental to the home side taking a 2-1 lead in the series.