India vs Australia- Talking Points

India’s 19 test unbeaten record by broken by Australia at Pune in the first test of the Border- Gavaskar Trophy. Indian  team had not looked this vulnerable in test s since the 2011 Australian series. With scores of 105 & 107 in both innings, this was India’s lowest aggregate in tests. Steve O’Keefe turned out to be the protagonist for the Kangaroos picking up career-best 12 wickets in a match, with figures of 6/35 and 6/35 in both innings. India dropped as many as 4  catches of Steve Smith in the second innings who went on to score a match winning hundred. Ahead of the second test match, here are some things India should look to improve to bounce back:

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Tail Scores

What hurt the Indian most was Mitchell Starc’s 60 odd runs in the first innings. Indian bowlers had the Aussies reeling at 205-9 but Starc put up a show at the end and scored run a ball fifty, to get the score to 260, which proved out to be much at the end. The spinners as well as the fast bowlers could not go through the tail and ended up adding as much pressure on the team.

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murali-vijay-mOpening Woes

Opening has been one of India’s biggest woes in the current home season. This was no different in the test at Pune. In both the innings, opening partnerships were 26 & 10. A team cannot be expected to put up a big score if the openers don’t provide a stable base for the next batsmen to build on. Different opening batsmen have been tried over the season such as Shikhar Dhawan, Gautam Gambhir and Parthiv Patel but none had been able to leave a mark at the pitch.
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Five Bowler Theory

The new skipper,Virat Kohli, is certainly more dynamic and attacking than MS Dhoni. He plays with five bowlers every match. This leaves 6 regular batsmen at the top including wicket-keeper Wridhiman Saha. On pitches like the one in Pune, this leaves a certain loophole in the batting order. The skipper has to play smart and vary the team composition from match to match. It would have worked with only fast bowler at Pune as Ishant Sharma didn’t ball much anyway.

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Fielding

Indian fielders dropped many catches in the second innings. As many as four chances were given to skipper Steve Smith who went on to register a well made century. These costly misses have been proven fatal for India in past as well. This was one of the worst fielding performance for India in a long time. To win the second test and the series, fielding is an aspect which cannot be overlooked and it is expected from the team to raise the standards.

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