India vs Australia 2017: 5 players who will make an impact in the final two Tests
The 2017 India-Australia series has added another cracking chapter into this ever growing cricket rivalry. Australia came into this series as rank underdogs. The odds were always against them with India building up a formidable home record beating the likes of New Zealand and a strong English side. To add to India’s favourite tag was the fact that Australia had just lost a home series to the Proteas.
Hence, it was a huge jolt when the visitors won the Pune Test handsomely, bowling out India for paltry scores. The Bangalore Test was a litmus test for the Indian side with questions being asked of their world number 1 ranking and their tendency to fall apart when confronted with an aggressive opponent. The first innings was a repeat of the shambolic performance in the first Test.
But, a dogged bowling performance in the Australian first innings and a heroic second innings partnership between Ajinkya Rahane and Cheteshwar Pujara restored order. The partnership was a momentum shift which galvanised the bowling attack, helping India win comfortably at the end. This has put the series in fine balance with two more Tests to go.
As the teams move to Ranchi for the crucial third Test, let us look at five players who will make an impact and decide who snares the Border-Gavaskar Trophy 2017.
#1 Ravichandran Ashwin
Ravichandran Ashwin has been a stellar performer in the grand home season of 2016/17 for India. Understandably, the expectations were stratospheric when the critical Australia tests began. By his incredible standards, Ashwin underperformed in the first Test at Pune. His usually dependable batting skills have not been of great help to the Indian cause, too.
The second Test changed all that. Even though he didn’t pick up a bunch of wickets in the first innings, he was economical and disciplined which helped Ravindra Jadeja reap the benefits. Come the second innings, Ashwin was back to his lethal best, winning the Test match for India with a brilliant 6 for 41.
With that, he has smelt blood and it won't be a surprise if he again runs through the Aussie batting order.