“It is happening, it isn’t a nightmare”. This tweet by Harsha Bhogle perfectly summed up every cricket fan's ordeal on the third day of the Adelaide test between India and Australia. A lot of records were created on that day, none of which India would be proud of. Their lowest team score, no batsman getting a double digit score, lowest team total of this century thus far, the list goes on and on. It’s almost ironic that India’s highest test score of 759 also came on the same day, 19th December, four years ago against England.
India’s woes on a day they were bundled out for 36 by Australia at Adelaide worsened as experienced pacer Mohammed Shami was ruled out of the Test series with a fracture on his arm. During India’s disastrous batting outfit in the second innings at Adelaide, Shami was struck on the right arm by a bouncer from Pat Cummins.
India’s No.3 batsman Cheteshwar Pujara reckons that Australia’s off-spinner Nathan Lyon, who dismissed him for the 10th time in Test cricket, has displayed tremendous improvement as a bowler in the last four-five years.
After all the confusion and controversy surrounding him, Indian opener Rohit Sharma left for Australia in the early hours of Tuesday. After serving his quarantine period Down Under, he is likely to be available from the third Test, which begins at Sydney on January 7.
India’s historic Test series win in Australia during the 2018-19 tour is often played down since the Aussies were forced to field a weakened team in the absence of suspended David Warner and Steve Smith. India went on to clinch the series 2-1, with Cheteshwar Pujara putting up a heroic batting show and Jasprit Bumrah leading from the front with the ball. Even so, critics have often pointed out to the fact that India won against an under-strength Australia. That’s not all, some have even termed India’s triumph as ‘lucky’
The first test of the Border-Gavasker trophy between India and Australia is set to begin on the 17th of December, yet India aren’t too sure of the team combination they will be going ahead with, especially at the top. While Mayank Agarwal is a certain starter, there is some speculation over the batsman accompanying him. Let’s have a look at the players who might be donning the openers hat at some point during the four tests
Former England captain Michael Vaughan has stated that India will need to do well in the first Test against Australia at Adelaide, which will be a Day-Night encounter, to have a successful Test series Down Under. The Adelaide Test will be India’s maiden pink-ball Test in Australia, and second overall.
Finally, in some good news for Team India on the Rohit Sharma front, the experienced batsman has cleared his fitness test at the National Cricket Academy (NCA) in Bengaluru. He is now likely to fly to Australia on December 14.