After dishing out a thrilling series opener in Adelaide, Australia and India are all set for the second Test in Perth. Only this time, it is not the traditional WACA Stadium, but the new and swanky Optus Stadium that will play host. The first-ever Test match at this new stadium is expected to see another close battle.
Australia had never lost the opening Test of a series against India, but the Adelaide loss was more due to the discrepancies of their performances. None of the batsmen led the way, and only Travis Head (70) added value to those who chose him in their fantasy teams!
There is a possibility that Tim Paine will include the all-rounder Mitchell Marsh into the playing XI at Perth. Should he play, he will be an interesting addition to your fantasy sides, considering the all-round abilities he brings to the side. Another interesting name to be looked at, is the fast bowler Josh Hazlewood, who can be an asset on the bouncy Perth track.
India, on the other hand, were more clinical with their execution. Cheteshwar Pujara was brilliant with fifties in both innings, while Ajinkya Rahane got back his ‘overseas mojo’ with a classy fifty in the second innings. It is worthwhile to have a look at these two batsmen in your fantasy side.
Another impressive performance came from Rishabh Pant, who was the better ‘keeper on display. With the Indian seamers able to extract more bounce than their counterparts, he could be set for another long haul behind the sticks.
Fantasy Players to Watch
Virat Kohli might have missed out on scoring big in Adelaide, but there were signs in the second innings that he is getting into his stride. After creating history as the first Asian skipper to win a Test in Australia, South Africa and England in a single year, Kohli will be looking to let his bat do the talk in Perth.
Jasprit Bumrah bowled with a lot of intent in Adelaide and made sure the batsmen felt uncomfortable every time he got the ball. The Indian speedster is a must to have in your fantasy team on the bouncy Perth track.
Mitchell Marsh was unlucky to have missed out in Adelaide, and was probably the reason why Australia looked a bowler short. The all-rounder is a much-improved batsman these days and should be able to surprise you with points should you select him in your fantasy side.
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Australia (probable XI): 1 Marcus Harris 2 Aaron Finch 3 Usman Khawaja 4 Shaun Marsh 5 Travis Head 6 Mitchell Marsh 7 Tim Paine (Capt) 8 Mitchell Starc 9 Pat Cummins 10 Nathan Lyon 11 Josh Hazlewood
India (probable XI): 1 Murali Vijay 2 KL Rahul 3 Cheteshwar Pujara 4 Virat Kohli 5 Ajinkya Rahane 6 Rohit Sharma 7 Rishabh Pant 8 Ravichandran Ashwin 9 Mohammed Shami 10 Ishant Sharma 11 Jasprit Bumrah