Aggression, attrition, horror faces. Day two of the second Test between India and Australia in Bengaluru was full of drama. It was exciting, intriguing and it was full of energy and verve. India started the day well with the early wicket of David Warner but a stolid Matt Renshaw and Steven Smith defied the Indian bowlers for 20 overs, scoring just 30 runs before Ravindra Jadeja sent back the Australian captain. Renshaw, however, continued his stolid approach yo bring up his fifty. Shaun Marsh too showed strong resilience as the pair put on a crucial 52-run stand for the 3rd wicket. The Indian pacers bowled with significant venom but the fielders disappointed. The catching continued to be shoddy as Wriddhiman Saha dropped Mitchell Starc, considering the fact that he played a match-turning knock in the first innings. However, India need to make sure this doesn't prove costly. Marsh was out to a soft dismissal and that was a crucial wicket for India. He and Matthew Wade stitched another important partnership of 57 to cause a bit of headache. Wade looked solid at the wicket and he along with Starc took the lead to 48 runs to give the visitors a slight upper hand.
As the cliche goes. The first session will be crucial on day three. India need to get rid of Wade and Starc as early as possible. For that, the fielders need to up the ante and also, Kohli needs to be smart with his bowling changes. He didn't have the best of days leading the team on day two. The DRS problems continued and this might cost them dearly at some point in time.
The ball is turning significantly and the pair of Ashwin and Jadeja need to make sure they clean up the tail as soon as possible. They need to keep the lead under 75 runs because batting on this pitch will get more and more difficult as the day progresses with the cracks widening. However, one advantage India have is that Australia will be batting last on this pitch and by then, the pitch might turn a rank turner. The pacers, as it is, are already getting insignificant bounce.
An early wrap-up followed with a solid opening partnership will be the need of the hour. The opening partnership for the hosts hasn't been able to set up a solid platform and that has put pressure on the middle order right from the word go.
Kohli and Co will be looking to make amends and even a 200-run target on this track could prove to be a defendable one. But for that, they need to start the day well. Partnerships will be the key while batting and only then they could rely on the Ashwin-Jadeja spin show. Fasten your seat-belts as another intriguing day awaits us.
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