Australia’s crushing 333-run win in the first Test in Pune last weekend was the tourists’ first victory in India since 2004 and ended a 19-match unbeaten run for Virat Kohli’s world number one team. India’s much-vaunted batting line-up was skittled out for just 105 and 107, and their spinners — supposedly the best in the world — were upstaged by their unfancied Australian counterparts.
But the outcome of the first Test means India must now avoid defeat in Bengaluru if they are reclaim the Border-Gavaskar Trophy, which has been in Australia’s possession since they beat India 2-0 at home in 2014-15.
Much will depend on whether skipper Kohli, who had a match to forget with scores of 0 and 13, can rediscover the form which has brought him four double centuries since last July.
However, Indian cricket legends have come out in support of Kohli and his team after the shocking loss in Pune.
Like Sachin Tendulkar, Sourav Ganguly has now backed Kohli and Co ahead of the 2nd Test, starting on March 4.
“Kohli is human and he had to fail one day. He failed in both innings in Pune. I think he played a little bit of a loose shot in the first innings outside the off stump but the Australians bowled him there,” Ganguly told.
Dada also paid the ultimate compliment to Kohli as he compared his performance with that of Tendulkar, who was known to be at his best against the Aussies.
“To watch those four back-to-back Test match hundreds against Australia in Australia (was surreal). I have not seen even Sachin Tendulkar do that,” Ganguly said.
While India are expected to make a couple of changes for Bengaluru, the visitors are likely to stick with their winning side.
The third and fourth Tests of the series will be played in Ranchi and Dharamsala.