Don’t be fooled: Adelaide means everything to India

Against all expectations, India have broken dead square in their last five Adelaide Tests. This is their chance again. And they know it.

Australia are temporarily off-balance and India's mission will be to not allow them to settle for Australia will get stronger in this series and India weaker.

Two wins, two losses and a draw is India's strong balance sheet in the five Adelaide Tests since they produced a mini-cricketing miracle to concede 556 runs against Australia in the first innings in 2003 then somehow snatch the match.

Their affection for Adelaide rose a notch with that win but they have always been fond of the pitch, and the city.

 

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Several Indian restaurants in Adelaide still proudly show photos of famous Indian visitors like Sachin Tendulkar who frequently returned to their favourite haunts when returning to a city they always found welcoming and comfortable.

With Virat Kohli gone for the series after Adelaide and Australia in disarray with injuries and a haphazard build-up, this is India's chance to strike, pink ball notwithstanding.

At one point last week it was not possible to name Australia's top six and be categorically certain even just one player would bat in their nominated position. In Australia, that's unprecedented.

Win in Adelaide and India are virtually one and a half Tests up because they hold the Border-Gavaskar Trophy and would only need to draw the series to retain it.

English captain Michael Vaughan reckons India will lose the series 4-0 if they lose in Adelaide but you wonder if Australia has the batting backbone and hardness of preparation to put a team away like that.

Don't be fooled by the gravitas of the stats which reveal Australia is unbeaten in day-night Tests and India have only played one of them.

India's pace attack last year recorded the extraordinary feat of having three players average in the "teens'' per wicket and much of it was done offshore.

Jasprit Bumrah, the self-styled pace bowling champion, averages 20 runs per Test wicket and has shone in five different countries but is still yet to play a Test in India.

It hasn't hurt him one bit.

New ball, old ball, green tops or dust bowls, he has become one of the game's most adaptable bowlers and will be ready for anything in Adelaide.

 

 

There was a time when India squads used to have lounge chairs at training and would never be as fit as they should be.

But those days are long gone. Modern Indian players have to hit a designated number in "beep'' tests or they don't tour.

They are more diet conscious too and the night before the last Test here two years ago six of their players were spotted in a Japanese Restaurant.

India are fit and focused. Australia beware.

 

Originally published as Don't be fooled: Adelaide means everything to India


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