India vs Australia, 2nd Test - Talking points of the match
The 2nd Test of the Border-Gavaskar trophy came to an end with 5 sessions to spare. After the defeat in Chennai, the Australians were expected to perform better on a pitch which was not as spinner-friendly as the one in Chennai. But they failed horribly, and India got an innings victory against Australia after 15 years. Here are the talking points of the match:
Clarke’s selection blunder and a surprise early declaration
Michael Clarke surprised one and all by dropping their his spinner, Nathan Lyon, to accommodate Glenn Maxwell. This decision was a gamble, considering that Lyon was bowling well in the 2nd innings of the first Test. But his gamble did not work out, thanks to amazing centuries from Pujara and Vijay, who ensured that the Australian spinners did not exert much pressure on them. Moreover, Michael Clarke’s declaration when the scorecard read 237/9 was clearly a surprise to everyone. Clarke tried to justify his decision by saying that the main motive of his early declaration was to bowl some overs before the end of the play and try to take some wickets. But the fact that the Aussies could bowl only 3 overs on the first day clearly proved that Clarke’s decision was a blunder.
Pujara and Vijay
Many said that Vijay’s inclusion was a blunder. Many called for his exclusion for the next two Tests. But Murali Vijay was a man on a mission. With the Indian openers Gambhir and Sehwag having poor runs, it was time for him to vindicate the faith the selectors had shown. He grabbed the opportunity to secure his place in the team with both hands. A patient 167, facing more than 350 balls, clearly showed that he has learnt to adapt himself during tough situations, unlike the Murali Vijay we knew a couple of years ago. On the other hand, there is nothing much that needs to be said about Pujara. He is clearly building his career, step by step, following the legacy left by ‘The Wall’. 2 double centuries in just 10-15 Tests clearly shows his temperament and his ability to play long innings. He is the one for India’s batting future.
The Indian bowlers
The Indian bowlers were up to the mark, especially in the second innings. Each of them managed to impress (except the forever disappointing Harbhajan Singh). While Bhuvneshwar Kumar was instrumental in taking crucial top-order wickets on the first day, the spinners managed to clean up the remaining batsmen in both the innings. While Ashwin is back to his best, Ravindra Jadeja has been good too. Ishant Sharma bowled well but could not get wickets.
The first two Tests have been excellent, from an Indian point of view. But the interesting part will be the team which will be selected for the remaining two Tests.Will Sehwag and Harbhajan be dropped? Will Raina get a chance? Only time will tell.