Bad Team selection and shaky openers might cost India the Series Down Under

Bad Team Selection and Shaky openers might cost India the Series Down Under

After a crushing 146 run victory over India in the 2nd test at Perth, it was clear that Team Australia performed the best.  They had definitely worked on their mistakes from thier previous loss of the 1st test and completely out-played India in all aspects during the course of the crucial test match. The Australian off-spinner Nathan Lyon aka Garry/GOAT proved to be a key contributor in the Australian victory. During the game, he scalped a total of 8 wickets including the prized wicket of Indian skipper Virat Kohli in the 2nd innings which sealed the match in Australia’s favour on Day 4.

For India, the woes continued in their top order batting lineup as the openers failed to contribute yet again. So far, the Indian openers have contributed only a total of 6 runs for the 1st wicket partnership in this test match and especially KL Rahul who had yet another failure. This tour down under is proving to be a miserable outing for KL Rahul as he is continuously struggling as an opener. Aakash Chopra, in his article on ESPNCricinfo, discusses in detail whether KL Rahul is having a mental or technical problem.

The Indian last 4 tail-enders have also scored a paltry 11 runs in the last 8 innings, therefore, increasing the pressure on the top order to score heavily and their inability to contribute any support has lead India collapsing like a pack of cards especially during chasing totals.

Compare this to the Australian tail-enders who contributed vital runs especially the last wicket stand of 36 runs between Hazlewood and Starc. This enabled Australia to set a challenging 250+ target for India on an uneven and bouncy track at Perth.

Post the loss, there were media reports and ex-cricketers blaming India – especially the captain Virat Kohli and coach Ravi Shastri – on bad team selection. Much of this focuses on the fact that they left a fourth specialist bowler – a spinner and good fielder Ravinder Jadeja – out of the playing 11. His useful left-arm spin and fielding could have proved decisive for Team India. Ex Indian Captain and Cricket legend Sunil Gavaskar lashed out on Kohli and Shastri and immediately called for an assessment on their roles over team selection blunders. This will certainly become more pressing if India fails to win any of the remaining 2 test matches.

According to an article in Indian Express, Gavaskar questioned both Kohli’s and Shastri’s selection choices and mentions that KL Rahul should immediately be sent back home and he should play Ranji trophy cricket to get his technique and form sorted.

However, Virat Kohli defended his team selection choices. In an article on Cricbuzz he mentions that he went ahead with the selection of Umesh Yadav over Bhuvaneshwar Kumar as Umesh was in better rhythm and recently picked up 10 wickets in a test against West Indies in Hyderabad. Kohli also mentioned that he would have surely picked up R.Ashwin if he was fit but he was not. Thinking that the pitch supported fast bowlers, he played 3 fast bowlers instead.

With 2 tests left to play out in the series, the odds look slightly in Australia’s favour as the 3rd test venue MCG might also feature a bouncy track like Perth. India, with their shaky openers and out of form tail-enders coupled with bad selection, stand at the brink of losing a very bright chance of defeating Australia on their home ground. What’s more, Kohli might lose this great opportunity of becoming the only Indian captain in over a decade to defeat Australia in Australia.

So, who do you think will win? LeoVegas Sports Betting offers you great chances of placing bets on who you think might be the winning team in the 4 match test series. Place your bets now to pick a winner. According to Cricket Fever – Australia has a higher chance of defeating India in the test series.

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