For the first time ever, Hyderabad will host two Test matches in a season. The second Test against Australia will also be the first non-New Zealand Test in Hyderabad, so there are plenty of firsts to look forward to for cricket fans in Hyderabad, who patronised the Test match against New Zealand in August in fairly large numbers.
Chennai was a very good Test for India and I can say from experience that it’s always wonderful for a team’s morale and confidence to win the first Test of a series.
The scorecard might show that India won easily, and that was indeed the case in the end, but there were some crucial moments which turned the game on its head. Had Australia grabbed those moments, the match could have played out differently, but to India’s great credit, the initiative during those crunch periods was authoritatively seized to nail the opposition down.
While the middle-order was amongst the runs, the openers missed out in both innings. I always have been of the impression that whenever the openers do well, India end up getting a big score. I am sure both openers will get runs in the second Test so that they can lay the base for the middle-order and put pressure on the Australian bowlers right from the start.
India has been a huge beneficiary of Viru’s approach to batting. Such is the ferocity of his strokeplay, that he puts the opposition on the back foot and demoralises the bowlers. His great ability to score boundaries off good balls can be extremely damaging for the opposition. Viru is due a big score, and I am sure he won’t spend too much time worrying about it. He will, in his own unique way, work out ways and means of destroying the Australian bowling.
It will be interesting to see the Indian team’s composition in Hyderabad. If the pitch is anywhere near what it was like in Chennai, I would go in with one quick less and include Pragyan Ojha in the playing eleven. It is, of course, Ojha’s home ground and he did well against England too and will not be short on confidence.
Australia has to think real hard about whether it can afford to go in with just one specialist spinner. Except for James Pattinson, its pace attack didn’t make an impression, and I would be tempted to bring in Mitchell Johnson, who has been on two previous tours of India and is a handy batsman down the order.
It will also be keen to go in with an extra spinner in Xavier Doherty — with the impressive Moises Henriques as the third seamer. India will be aware that it won the first Test against England before going on to lose the series 2-1. It will need to guard against making the same mistakes, though for Australia to bounce back, it must improve its game by several notches. — 360 Corporate Relations