IND vs AUS 2nd Test: 3 Player Battles To Watch Out For

India vs Australia 2nd Test 2023 IND vs AUS
(Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images)

The IND vs AUS Test series got underway with the first Test in Nagpur from February 9. India won the first Test by an innings and 132 runs. Despite the loss, Australia are topping the points table with 136 points from 16 games. India are placed second with 111 points. 

The Arun Jaitley Stadium, Delhi will host the second Test from February 17 to 21. The third Test will be played at either Indore or Rajokot from March 1 to 5 and the fourth Test will be played at the Narendra Modi Stadium, Ahmedabad from March 9 to 13. Meanwhile, this is the last of the IND vs AUS four-match test series between the two teams.

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According to the International Cricket Council’s Men’s Future Tours Programme (FTP) for 2023-27, Australia and India will be playing two five-match series during the period which will be part of the ICC World Test Championship.

Australia have named an 18-member squad for the four-match Test series led by Pat Cummins. The BCCI, on the other hand, have announced a 17-member squad for the first two IND vs AUS Tests against the Aussies.

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Australia have added Matthew Kuhnemann, the left-arm spinner as a replacement for Mitchell Swepson who has been released from the side due to the birth of his child. India, on the other hand, have released Jaydev Unadkat for the Ranji Trophy final. 

Reputed players from both teams will face each other in the second Test in Delhi. The pitch is Delhi is expected to aid the spinners more than the pacers and thus both teams might go in with strong spin options. Thus the batters from both sides are expected to be fed with a lot of spin.  In this article, we take a look at three player battles to watch out for in te second Test in Delhi. 

IND vs AUS 2nd Test: 3 Player Battles To Watch Out For

Virat Kohli vs Nathan Lyon

The ever-enticing face-off between Virat Kohli and Nathan Lyon is waiting to unfold in the second Test. The former Indian skipper was dismissed by Todd Murphy in the first Test. Kohli has found form in recent times but spin has been the most common form of dismissal for him in the last couple of years. Be it off spin or left-arm spin, Kohli has found himself in trouble time and time again. Both the characters will face off each other once again in Nagpur.

Kohli has scored 410 runs off Lyon in 25 innings and has been dismissed seven times. Cummins has dismissed Kohli five times in 10 innings for just 82. With Kohli still vulnerable in terms of form in Test cricket his battle against Lyon and Cummins is expected to be a mouthwatering contest.

Cheteshwar Pujara vs Pat Cummins 

The Indian Test specialist was dismissed early in the first Test for just 7. The Australian skipper has dismissed him 7 times in 17 innings. On the other hand, Nathan Lyon has dismissed the Indian Test specialist as many as 10 times in 28 innings. Pujara after not scoring a century for more than three years in Test cricket broke the deadlock by scoring the fastest century of his Test career against Bangladesh in the recently concluded series.

With how the Test match is poised, India needs a special knock from Pujara on day 2, however, Cummins and Lyon will have other ideas. Cheteshwar Pujara has the most runs against Australia (1893 in 20 matches) among the current Indian batters.

Steve Smith vs Ravindra Jadeja 

Jadeja has dismissed Steve Smith five times in Test cricket. In the first Test in Nagpur, Jadeja bowled 64 balls to Smith giving away 23 runs and dismissing him once. With the Delhi pitch expected to help the spinners more than the pacers, Smith will be tested to the hilt by Jadeja. He was the only Australian batter who played spin with some authority in the first Test. With reports of  David Warner likely to be dropped from the second Test in Delhi, the onus of run-scoring will be on Smith and Marnus Labuschagne. 


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