You Only Live Twice, or Not

India’s first test victory at Adelaide will lend a lot spunk and confidence to the team that has egregiously boasted a terrible overseas record in the past few outings. This time India played all their cards right and despite the dismal show by the captain in both the innings, India did not miss the stalwarts of the Australian outfit namely Steve Smith and David Warner. It will be unfair to say that India won because Australia was without their best but if will be naive to assume that their absence had nothing to do with India’s victory. But that story is for another time.

India have a challenge to deal with at Perth. The new stadium promises to have some of the bounciest pitches in the entire country. The Indian team will have to contend with the likes of Starc and Lyon and mix that with some untested grass and weather and the odds will stack up against the visitors. Let us not forget that India will be without the services of Rohit Sharma and R.Ashwin and KL Rahul has not been oozing the kind of confidence that he once was known for. Having said that, India will heavily rely on the pace and trickery of some of its other bowlers to do the job.

The absence of Rohit Sharma will surely hurt the Indian team but let us not forget that Pujara and Rahane steered India to a greener pasture at Adelaide and with Pujara peaking form at the right time it will be advantageous for India to not fall for the mental games the Aussie players so very often than not.employ. Mental disintegration as a concept never brought the Aussies any laurels but the practice propounded by Steve Waugh has surely created its share of controversy and anguish in the past, especially for India.

But let us not rest India’s performance and historical wins on the basis of certain ‘ifs’ and ‘buts’. India played their best game and adjusting to a hostile and aggressive environment is half the challenge won. Although a victory by a larger margin would have been satisfying but one must not forget that this time around India did not benefit from the Captain’s contribution. Apart from his animated dramatics on the field, Virat Kohli failed to impress and this should be his chance to consolidate the efforts of the team as well as continue his sporadic record breaking spree on almost every odd occasion.

With the ICC world cup just a few months away, India cannot let loose their grip on their basics. And as the pundits say, cricket is all about the players who stick to their elementary style of play. But will Australia make it so simple for India to walk away with a Test series victory? Let’s wait and find out.

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