India vs Australia 2017: Michael Clarke backs India to bounce back and win the Test series
However, Sourav Ganguly feels India will now be scared of preparing turning pitches.
What’s the story?
Former Australian skipper Michael Clarke has backed India to bounce back from the ignominious defeat in Pune and win the Test series. His sentiments were echoed by erstwhile Indian captain Sourav Ganguly who however advised the hosts to prepare better pitches for the remaining matches.
“(I was) surprised with the way Australia won. Virat Kohli spoke really well after the defeat. He was open and honest. India will look to improve in the next Test. I think this is a really good test for his captaincy. He's a good enough player he's shown that and I believe he's a good enough captain to get his team back up and that's why I can't wait to see the second Test in Bangalore. (It’s) too early to believe Australia can win the series. India are still favourites”, Clarke told India Today.
Ganguly quipped, “The difference between the earlier teams and this Australian team touring here was the accuracy (shown) by Steve O'Keefe and Nathan Lyon. If Australia's spinners keep bowling so accurately, India will be scared of preparing turning pitches. This is a very good Indian side but my advice to them would be to not play on these sort of pitches. India's best chance would be to play on good pitches (and) take the match to Day Five as they did against England.”
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On a pitch that began to offer assistance to the spinners right from the opening session itself, Australia won the toss and proceeded to dominate the Indians in all three departments of the game. With O’Keefe and Lyon managing to out bowl Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja, India capitulated with the bat in both innings to slump to a humiliating 333-run loss.
The heart of the matter
Pointing towards the Indian skipper’s words after the match, Clarke believed that the hosts will be itching to bounce back in the second Test and backed them to emerge victorious in the series.
Taking note of Kohli’s reference to the 2015 Galle Test defeat and the team’s subsequent comeback to win the series in Sri Lanka 2-1, Ganguly insisted that India can rebound from the Pune loss too and do well in the next few matches.
The second Test will begin at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bengaluru on the 4th of March. Even though the venue has a reputation of rolling out sporting tracks, recent international matches at the venue (albeit T20Is) indicate that the pitch this time around could provide plenty to work with for the spinners.
Even though the margin of defeat might be demoralising, Kohli’s troops should have enough fortitude to bounce back in the next Test. Seeing as this was only the first loss at home in more than four years, India will be hungry to prove that this was just an aberration. Requiring a victory to get back into the series, the second match becomes extremely crucial in their bid to reclaim the Border-Gavaskar Trophy.