India v Australia: 2nd Test Preview

Q: How can the second test top the first one?
A: It can't.

But we all want to see if India can beat Australia again, and get the Bangalore monkey (no, not Symonds) off their backs. India has won only 6 Tests at Bangalore in 18 attempts, and none of those wins have come against Australia. Sachin and Sehwag average over 50 here (56.42 and 50.72 respectively for accuracy freaks), while Dravid (21.69) and Laxman (26.5) have poor records.

Enough with the stat-mongering, you'd be dumb to go by statistics. This is the weakest Aussie team to tour India (open to a very one-sided, pointless debate), and their lack of a decent spinner (Warne) could kick them in their own 'nads again.

Right now, the teams are so even, that anything's possible. The Aussies, champs that they are, could play four seamers and unleash a fiery 50-over bouncer barrage to soften up the Indian batsmen so that Katich and Clarke can clean up the top order before Ishant Sharma (though he's not playing) channels his inner Gillespie (and Harbhajan his Harbhajan) to lead a lower order resistance in a partnership longer than this sentence.

In another scenario, they could play two rookies, James Pattinson and Mitchell Starc, and both Steven Smith and Hauritz, as a way of saying "We give up!"

My point is, I've no idea what I'm talking about. It will be a great (or just good) Test match, where every ball is a highlight... for Dravid's fans.

No more rambling, this is the expected Indian side (in Gambhir and Ishant's absence)

V Sehwag
M Vijay
R Dravid
S Tendulkar
VVS Laxman (Pujara if he's unfit)
S Raina
MS Dhoni (c)(wk)
H Singh
Z Khan
S Sreesanth
P Ojha

And despite Hauritz being called a human buffet and North going south, Punter and the gang seem to show enough confidence in them, so Smith and Hughes may not get their chances. Bollinger, though, is in doubt for the game, and Dr. Peter James George, the Canadian economist, is likely to replace him.

S Watson
S Katich
R Ponting (c)
M Clarke
M Hussey
M North
T Paine
M Johnson
N Hauritz
B Hilfenhaus
P George

Prediction: Man Utd. 2-0 West Brom