Preview | 2023 Border-Gavaskar Trophy – Second Test

AUSTRALIA will be eager to produce a significant response ahead of the second test against India, which kicks off on Friday afternoon. The host nation delivered a masterful performance in the opening match, completely dismantling the Australian batting lineup before going to work at the crease in a dominant showing in all facets of the game.

The Aussies will be eager to make amends, needing to conjure a draw at the very least in order to qualify for the World Test Championship. However, with the second match set to be played at Dehli, things won’t come easy the tourists once again.


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1st Session: 3:00pm-5:00pm
Lunch: 5:00pm-5:40pm
2nd Session: 5:40pm-7:40pm
Tea: 7:40pm-8:00pm
3rd Session: 8:00pm-10:00pm


Australia: Pat Cummins (c), Steve Smith (vc), Ashton Agar, Scott Boland, Alex Carey, Cameron Green, Peter Handscomb, Josh Hazlewood, Travis Head, Usman Khawaja, Matthew Kuhnemann, Marnus Labuschagne, Nathan Lyon, Lance Morris, Todd Murphy, Matthew Renshaw, Mitchell Starc, David Warner

India: Rohit Sharma (c), KL Rahul (vc), Shubman Gill, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli, Shreyas Iyer, KS Bharat, Ishan Kishan, Ravichandran Ashwin, Axar Patel, Kuldeep Yadav, Ravindra Jadeja, Mohammed Shami, Mohammed Siraj, Umesh Yadav, Jaydev Unadkat, Suryakumar Yadav


The reinforcements may be coming for Australia, but doubt remains over the health of some of the most central figures. Mitchell Starc and Cameron Green are both racing against the clock to be fit for the second test, with neither training on match eve.

The duo are vital to Australia’s structure, particularly Green who offers seam bowling while batting at six. If Starc is available, it seriously affects the look of Australia’s attack, with skipper Pat Cummins remarking earlier this week that the veteran fast bowler is not guaranteed a spot in the side if healthy.

Mitchell Swepson recently departed the squad, heading home for the birth of his first child. He was replaced by Matthew Kuhnemann, opening the door for the Aussies to unleash a three-pronged spin attack. Pace bowler Josh Hazelwood is set to miss a second consecutive test after sustaining an Achilles injury upon arrival.

It is hard to see India making too many changes given the dominance produced in Nagpur last week. The team has announced its desire to attack at the crease, which could see the injection of Shreyas Iyer into the XI, given the batsman has shown destructive capabilities at the crease when facing spin.

Given the prolonged absence of Rishabh Pant, it could benefit the hosts to inject some ruthlessness into the batting order, especially given the success Todd Murphy found with building up the pressure on the Indian batsmen.


How will the Australian bowling attack look?

If the players mentioned above are deemed fit to play, the Australians will have a predicament on their hands. Spin seemed to be the successful method of finding wickets in the first test, with Murphy claiming seven of his own, while the likes of Cummins could not provide as much damage.

Speculation has been surrounding the Aussie camp as to whether three spinners could be played given the movement seen on the first pitch, with Kuhnemann and Ashton Agar waiting in the wings. It would mean cult hero Scott Boland could be removed from the XI to make way.

However, the possibility of Starc and Green being available makes things interesting as both are proven players on the world stage with plenty of pace. If fit, Green will undoubtedly find himself in the XI, but Starc may be given one more match to recover given the conditions.

Will Travis Head find a spot in the XI?

Fans and experts alike were stunned when star batsman Travis Head was sensationally dropped despite being in career-best form, with the selection committee opting for the likes of Matthew Renshaw and Peter Handscomb.

The move seemingly failed to pay off, with Renshaw dismissed for a duck in the first innings, before heading back to the pavilion for a handful of runs in the second. It seems an easy call to bring Head back, with the world No.4 batsman not only offering an aggressive mindset at the crease, but also another capable spin option.

Who needs to lift for the Australia to turn things around?

Aggression is the word of the week for the Australian team, with Cummins signalling a desire to lift the intensity ahead of the second test. Criticism came from past players over the lack thereof in the first match, and it starts with a trio of big names. Cummins, Nathan Lyon and David Warner all struggled to have their usual impact on the match at Nagpur, and if they can get involved, Australia’s prospects look much more optimistic.

Cummins and Lyon are staples of the Aussie bowling attack, but both struggled to get breakthrough wickets last week and were quite expensive at times. Warner looked timid at the crease after Australia won the toss and chose to bat, and played spin off the back foot. His success in the Boxing Day test showed the success he can produce when playing aggressive and taking on the spinners.

Should he return to that form, the Aussies will look much stronger at the top of the order. However, there has been plenty of discussion surrounding Warner’s spot in the side, as the selectors could opt to move Renshaw to the opening spot and bring in Head.


Australia to make the right changes and tie the series up.

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