Preview: India vs Australia, Mohali Test

Sachin

Australia had the edge in Bangalore while the brownie points belonged to India but both the bitter rivals would seek something more tangible, an outright win to be precise, when they collide head-on in the second Test in mohali on Friday.

If the see-saw first Test, spiced up by some on-field banters and post-match jibe, is any inklings of things to come, a high-strung humdinger is very much on the cards and both Anil Kumble and Ricky Ponting are desperate to ensure they don't end up on the wrong side of the five-day drama.

And if still anyone felt it would not be riveting enough, Sachin Tendulkar will feature in the sideshow on the sidelines as he tries to knock off those 15 runs to topple Brian Lara from the top of the highest run accumulator's chart in the longer version of the game.

The jury is still out on which side gained most from the drawn tie in Bangalore after both returned with honours more or less even.

Apparently, Australia did have the hosts on the mat for a while but in the end, it was Kumble's men who claimed a moral victory by forcing a draw.

For India, lot of positives came out of the Bangalore match where the pacers rocked, one half of the spin attack stung, tail wagged and the senior players dug deep into their vast reserve of experience and batted out the tricky fifth day to save the match.

The lone blot was Kumble going wicket-less, a rarity at home, and then compounding his crisis by injuring his shoulder.

Drizzles over the last few days have left much moisture in the track and though there is a temptation of fielding Munaf Patel as the third seamer, India is unlikely to fiddle with the bowling unit equilibrium.

... contd.

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