It finally happened! Australia won the second test match against India. Nothing could be more exciting than watching the world’s best two sides compete with all their might. The second test between India and Australia was nothing short of a roller coaster ride, each session bringing on a new challenge. Both India and Australia showed great determination and stunned fans all around. Despite having a 1-0 lead, India was cautious. Playing Australia on Australian soil is no small feat, for Asian teams this is an even tougher task because the Aussie pitch is considered a nightmare for Asian batsmen. It eventually did prove to be a nightmare for the Indian batsmen as India lost the second test by 146 runs.
After winning the second test, Australia has now leveled the series 1-1; Australian bowlers bowled a classic spell and dismissed India early morning in the first session. The target of 283 became a tough task for India and their key batsmen failed to deliver. The Indian team, who rejoiced after a fantastic victory in the first test, were all over the place in the second test and failed to cash any decent opportunity. The openers performed miserably and the rest was a horror story for India.
The tables turned in the second test where the formidable Indian side started showing weakness. India’s ordinary batting effort after a sensational performance from pacer Mohammad Shami, who took a career-best six for 56 in Australia’s second innings to bring India back into the contest, stunned all the cricket fans. The Indian batting lineup faltered badly and lost some early wickets on the fourth day. The second innings began with a bumpy start as, within a couple of overs, India lost both its openers. Murali Vijay (20) and Virat Kohli (17) added 35 runs for the third wicket before things went into a downward spiral. Kohli who played phenomenally well in the first innings fell into Nathan Lyon’s trap and was caught at slip.
Although Indian batsmen failed to put up a competitive show yet the bowlers especially Shami displayed great technique and talent against Australia. Shami wreaked havoc, taking 4-26 after lunch and completely destroying the Australian lower batting order. Bumrah beautifully complimented Shami and the duo finally outclassed Australia on 243 runs. However, the Indian batsmen were unable to face the Australian bowlers.
Lyon’s destructive deliveries
Nathan Lyon gave Australia the much-needed breakthrough against India; he dismissed Kohli at a crucial time. Lyon’s deceiving delivery did the trick and Virat got caught at the slip. It was a special delivery for Lyon. He said,
“You love coming up against the best players in the world, and obviously Virat is the No. 1 player in the world, so to get his wicket I really enjoyed it and the guys did too.”
Lyon took a total of 8 wickets in the second test making him the most successful bowler for the match. He was awarded Man of the Match for his outstanding performance.
Captain Tim Paine was also delighted by the effort put in by the whole team and appreciated them for showing such determination. He believed a win in this situation was important because it would greatly help to boost the morale. Although Australia was not at its best, yet some right moves at the right time helped them secure a much-needed win.
The Kohli Factor
The match belonged to Australia but one man surely deserves recognition for his efforts and that is Virat Kohli. He was the one man army for India and made sure he gave it his all. Kohli could not perform well in the second innings nonetheless he kept the entire Indian side super motivated. Despite a rather dismal performance by the Indian batsmen, he shined through every moment. He led the team from the front and played a true captain’s knock. Kohli has consistently shown great performance from the time he took over the role of team India’s captain. The 30-year-old, who took over as India’s captain in Tests in 2014, succeeded in helping his side win a Test in South Africa earlier this year, though they lost the series 2-1. It was then followed by a win in England a few months back, even though the team was beaten 4-1 in the five-Test series. In the 43 matches as a captain, he has won 25, losing just 9 matches. He is the second most successful Indian captain after Dhoni.
Earlier this year, India had faced similar circumstances thrice – twice against South Africa and once in England and they lost all three. India had lost the first two tests in South Africa where they were asked to chase 207 in Cape Town and 286 at the Centurion. In England, India was asked to chase a massive 463 runs in the final Test match of the five-match series at the Oval. In reply, India put up a braveheart performance riding on centuries from KL Rahul and Rishabh Pant, but failed by a distance in reaching the total. India was asked to chase in the opener as well, in England, with the target being 194. England won by 31 runs.
The loss in the second test is huge for India, there might be changes expected now as Indian cricket pundits stressed the need to induct a spinner urgently in the squad. All-rounder Hardik Pandya has already been called on board for the 3rd and 4th test against Australia. The third test will start in Melbourne from 26th December. While team Australia is busy rejoicing, it’s time for India to reevaluate their strategies and find a new way to beat the tough opposition. It will be a real test for Kohli and team because rising from rock bottom is never easy.
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