SCG TEST PREVIEW
Courtesy : Sportskeeda – Indian players after winning BG Trophy in 2018-19 first time in Australia.
As Indian team caravan moved to SCG to play the New year test in a couple of days from now, the series is wide open and the stakes are high as the WTC Final at Lord’s in June hinges on the minds of Indian team. We can take a look at India’s chances at SCG.
Out of the earlier 12 outings at SCG though India could win only a solitary test way back in 1978-79 thanks to trio spin attack of Chandra, Bedi and Prasanna and there were some close encounters including the last outing in 2018-19 where the rain spoiled India’s chances of win.
Sydney Test is nowadays played as “Pink” Test to aid Cancer patients in memory of Judeth McGrath, (wife of legendary Cricketer, Glenn Mc Grath) , who died of Cancer. Ashwin also mentioned this fact on his “Vlog”, YouTube TV Channel.
After bouncing back at MCG with a convincing win , the Indian team looks solid with creditable performances by captain Rahane, Bumrah and Ashwin leading the bowling attack bolstered by the pace bowler Debutante Siraj .
And Rahane’s astute leadership came in praise of many cricketers including Ian Chappel mentioned in his column in Cricinfo.com lavished praises and his timely century under trying conditions , his stitching partnership with middle and lower order batsmen are worthy to emulate. Sunil Gavaskar in his recent column in Sportstar equated Rahane’s century with that of G.R. Viswanath’s century in 1981 at MCG and other century knocks of Sachin, Laxman, Dravid made under different difficult situations.
The superb win at MCG is a shot in the arm for Indian cricket and shows once again that a team effort is a must for success. Even Ashwin in AADUKALAM episode of SCG on his YOUTUBE Channel mentioned that this win was a terrific resurgence.
Since the start of 2018 and before the start of this Australia tour, among spinners who have taken at least 10 wickets put together in SENA countries, Ashwin holds the best average and economy rate. Never mind the lead-up to the series. At the halfway mark Ashwin is responsible for two of Steven Smith’s three dismissals, exposing both his edges, in only 23 balls, and two of Marnus Labuschagne’s four dismissals. And Bumrah leading the charge gives India edge over Aussies. These two bowlers, viz., Bumrah and Aswhin are becoming a formidable indian line up and the newcomer Siraj chipping in with crucial wickets is an added advantage.
The Indian team-management in quest of a left-arm paceman as an option in Test cricket for quite some time now. The inclusion of T. Natarajan into the Indian Test squad in Down Under grounds, is an extension of India’s search for a left-arm seamer that would make its attack complete. And hope he does make it in playing XI at SCG.
And in the batting the skipper leading from the front for the assault is brimming with confidence after a scintillating century and bolstered by “Hitman” Rohit sharma joining the team besides Gill and Jadeja contributing are welcome signs.
On the other hand the Aussies have many questions to answer including an unreliable opening pair. Of course now, David Warner, in spite of his near fitness, is ready to open and Pucovski set to wear baggy green for the first time may give a comforting news. Their bowling quartet are raring to go at Indian batting to exploit the vulnerability of some batsmen.
Some DRS decisions in this series raised eyebrows and are indicative of the fact that technology is still not perfect. It would be a big help if the ICC sets up ways in which third country umpires will officiate again. Already the West Indies skipper Jason Holder queried about the absence of third country umpires after their recent series in New Zealand.