First Test Recap
No one saw the result in first test coming. The Australian team that arrived in India were given no hope, the series was won by India without a ball being bowled. Much of the discussion centred around how Australia would struggle with the spin of Jadeja and Ashwin. On day 1 it looked to be following the script and every single ball felt destined to take a wicket.
Fast forward to two batting collapses by India and Australia were the victors by a whopping 333 runs. This result really opens up the series and adds intrigue (especially from a betting point of view!).
There were a few key moments in the match which need to be highlighted as we preview the second test.
Indian First Innings Collapse
Most would point at Virat Kohli falling to a second ball duck as the moment that shaped the collapse, but up until losing their 4th India were still in a relatively good position at 3-94. A ridiculously rash shot by Rahul on 64 got him dismissed, caught deep at long on after a series of dot balls. India would then be bowled out for a measly 105.
After losing early wickets India tried to play aggressively in response seemingly to ‘get back on top’ as they expected would be the case pre-match. This was not the type of pitch to try to quickly assert dominance, and patience was rewarded – most notably seen with Matt Renshaw’s two great innings.
Steve Smith’s Crucial 2nd Innings Century
Smith played an extremely gritty innings in Pune, a pitch where not many batsman would have a hope of scoring a century. We can’t forget though, he was dropped 4 times, meaning that his impressive total flatters to deceive. With cricket, you make your own luck, and those catches wouldn’t have changed the result in this game – but the end result would have been closer than 333.
2nd Test Prediction
Both teams have a lot to improve on in the 2nd test, but India are the team who have the most potential to do so. Their batsmen underperformed, and it is unlikely that they will let Australia off the hook this easily again.
Australia will have confidence, however the strong bowling performance was off the back of stunning India, who will know now that they need to treat the bowling attack with respect. Expect a big game from the Indian top order, and Kohli in particular on a slightly better pitch.
2 Units: India to win – $2.00 at William Hill
If you are prepared to wait until just after the toss to make a bet, this bet will be the best chance of winning if India bat first – however the odds will drop if that happens.
0.5 Units: Handscomb – Australia Top Scorer $8.00 with Ladbrokes