5 Notable Statistics From The First Two Tests
The first two Tests between India and Australia have been closely fought. Both in Adelaide and then in Perth, the Tests entered the fifth day with the result still uncertain, and each test has similarly seen a healthy balance between bat and ball.
The way India started encouraged many to think that this would indeed be the time that they earn their ever elusive Test series victory in Australia. In Adelaide, they fought in trying conditions against a strong bowling attack and kept their nerve to achieve a landmark victory.
However, the second Test felt like a regression. Despite the quality in their batting line up, they failed to match the runs scored by a much weaker Australian top seven. Furthermore, the selection of Umesh Yadav suggested a misreading of conditions and also left India with a particularly fragile tail.
The series is subsequently poised for a very entertaining final half. If Australia win just one of the next two Tests, then India will forego this golden opportunity to win a series in Australia. However, a win for India similarly means that they will retain the Border-Gavaskar Trophy.
Whichever side emerges from the series successful may depend on which side learns the most from the first two Tests.
India, for example, go to Melbourne with a handful of selection problems. Prithvi Shaw has unfortunately been ruled out of the tour, with Mayank Agarwal being called up as a replacement. Hardik Pandya also returns to the squad after recovering from injury to deliver an impressive performance in the Ranji Trophy. India's line-up for Boxing Day could, therefore, be quite different to the one they fielded in Perth.
In a peculiar reversal from the start of the series, Australia now have the more settled side. Their victory in Perth was their first Test win since the ball-tampering incident back in March. But as the following statistics reveal, they also have areas they must improve upon if they are to build on this victory.