Melbourne is India’s best chance to win: Bevan

Notwithstanding the 2-0 scoreline in favour of the home team, former Australian all-rounder Michael Bevan is impressed with the brand of cricket played in the series and feels Indians have a good chance to bounce back in Melbourne in the third cricket Test, starting on Friday.

After losing the first two games of the four-match Test series, Mahendra Singh Dhoni and company are in a must-win situation before the Boxing Day Test which according to Bevan’s prediction will be an intriguing battle.

“I really expected the Indians to challenge Australians in Adelaide given the wicket conditions. Adelaide and Melbourne are the best chances I think for the Indians to win matches,” Bevan told PTI in an interaction on Thursday.

India lost the opening game at the Adelaide Oval by 48 runs and came back strongly at Gabba to post 408 in the first innings only to lose it from there. But Bevan, 44, believes the Adelaide loss had no bearing on the Brisbane Test.

“And I think the way the Indians batted in the first innings, shows that they didn’t carry anything from the loss in Adelaide to the Gabba Test.

“Because their batting in the first innings in Brisbane was really quite solid. On a ground where traditionally they struggle, they were quite impressive in their first innings,” said the former left-handed batsman who is part of the video show ‘Match Point’ on ESPNCricinfo.

There might be a scrutiny on Dhoni’s leadership skills, especially after stand-in-skipper Virat Kohli’s brave showing in the opening Test, but Bevan still is a big fan of ‘Captain Cool’

“I have always been a big Dhoni fan with regard to his leadership skills and the quality of cricket skills that he has. And I think it has been noticeable throughout his reign as captain that India has played quite well. I haven’t seen much of Virat’s captaincy so it’s hard to make a decision for someone I have not seen,” Bevan, who represented Australia in 232 ODIs and 18 Tests, said.

With quite a few decisions going against India at the Gabba, the DRS debate again came to the fore and many former cricketer’s urged the management to accept the technology.

Even Bevan believes in the acceptance of technology at hand as it might prove to be beneficial.

“I watched the Test series in parts and not every ball. So I can’t say which decision went for or against them. Everyone knows that they are not big fans of DRS.

“I, in particular, liked an interesting comment that Ian Healy made while commentating and he said that it may not been hundred per cent perfect but it’s probably closer to perfection and you probably going to get more decisions right by using it than by leaving it in the umpire’s hands. So at the present time it appears that it probably hurt them a little bit.”

India did try to turn the sledge handle towards Australia at the Gabba but the tactic probably backfired and Mitchell Johnson, who was at the receiving end while batting, came up trumps. Bevan said that Australian’s relish the verbal banter and opposition teams should never use it against them.

“I don’t know if you know Australians, but we tend to like that sort of stuff. I think Mitchell Johnson is one of those guys that you would probably leave alone.

“I think he had a lean Test in Adelaide and certainly the first innings he struggled and certainly you don’t want to give players a reason to fire up. So it wasn’t something that you needed to do. I think he was not at the top of his game anyway.”

Bevan, who has now turned cricket expert, is also delighted to be part of the ‘Match Point’ team alongwith Ajit Agarkar and said that he is looking forward to analysing the game on a digital platform.

“Apart from the fact that I am on it, it’s good. I think it gives the transition from a cricinfo viewer to a video space. It provides a different sort of content. So, it’s an opportunity for the digitally minded cricket fan to watch the game in a different format. It’s interesting on a different level.”

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Printable version | Sep 19, 2021 12:43:08 PM |

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