Australia vs India 2018-19, 2nd Test: Tactical changes both teams could make
A confident looking India defeated hosts Australia at Adelaide by winning the first Test match by 31 runs.
It was a complete team effort with everyone chipping in at various points of the game to give India a 1-0 in the series, something that’s never happened before for India in Australia-winning the first Test in a series Down Under.
India were aware that this Australian side lacks the quality and experience without the banned trio- more so without Steven Smith and David Warner.
Yet playing in their home conditions, Australia can be very dangerous. And they do have some fine players in Shaun Marsh, Usman Khawaja and Travis Head who can win games on their own.
The resilience shown by the Australian lower order in the second innings chasing an improbable 323 runs to win showed their true grit and character.
This team may not have the experience or the stars unlike the Indian team, but they certainly would push the No.1 ranked Test team.
In what seems to be a fast, bouncy deck at the Optus Stadium, both teams would bank on their fast bowlers to take the attack to the opposition.
This promises to be a high-octane contest with the hosts trailing 0-1. They would want to take the learnings from their defeat at the Adelaide Oval and come back strong and level the series 1-1.
As far as the teams go, although India would want to go in with an unchanged side, they were dealt with two blows- Rohit Sharma is out with a back injury and Ravichandran Ashwin is out with an abdominal strain. India have named a 13-member squad including the likes of Ravindra Jadeja and Umesh Yadav in it.
Keeping in mind the surprise element that the pitch at the new Perth Stadium would offer, and two forced changes they must make, here’s looking at the some of the tactical changes India and Australia can make ahead of the second Test starting tomorrow, 14th December 2018:
#3 Changes in batting order for Australia
Australia would certainly want to put on a better batting performance in the second Test match at Perth.
Players like Aaron Finch, Shaun Marsh and Usman Khawaja gave away their wickets too easily. They showed some technical flaws that were exposed by the Indian bowlers.
With a quick turnaround time between the Tests, the Aussie top order would want to dig in and score big on what promises to be a quick, bouncy deck at Perth. The lower middle order also looked a bit fragile.
That was mainly due to the failure of Peter Handscomb, who is someone who can build partnerships and spend a lot of time at the crease.
Two soft dismissals ensured that the pressure went right to Tim Paine and the tail-enders. Although they fought brilliantly and showed a lot of grit and determination, the middle order left too much for them to score.
One key issue/challenge with this Australian batting line up is after bans to David Warner and Cameron Bancroft, they haven't been able to figure out what their opening combination would be. This series, they have opted for Aaron Finch and Marcus Harris.
Aaron Finch has tasted fair amount of success as an opener in ODIs and T20Is but he is not yet there when it comes to handling the movement caused by a brand new Kookaburra ball. It would be in Australia's best interest to push Aaron Finch down the batting order and ask Usman Khawaja to open the innings.
That would allow a balance between right-left combination in the middle order and also allow a player like Aaron Finch time in the middle when the ball is soft and not doing too much.