Australia vs India 2018, 2nd Test Perth: Known for his out-of-the-box ideas and unconventional decisions, India captain Virat Kohli once again pulled off another surprise during the second Test against Australia at the newly-built Perth Stadium in Perth. After Ravichandran Ashwin picked up an unfortunate injury, Kohli replaced the veteran offie with paceman Umesh Yadav which means India went into the Test match without a specialist spinner. It was the third time in India’s history when they have fielded a playing XI without a spinner.
It was a bold move from the Indian captain considering the fact that visitors lacked a genuine fifth bowling option in the playing XI. In that scenario, the bold move by Kohli to play a four-pronged pace attack on a lively Perth pitch comes under the scanner.
Australia vs India 2nd Test: Day 1 Live Score and Updates
In the past as well, India have played without a specialist spinner, two have been under Kohli’s captaincy. However, this is the second time this year – Kohli opted for no spinner in India’s XI. They made the same call in South Africa earlier this year on a pace-friendly wicket in the third Test at the Wanderers in Johannesburg.
At that time, India went with the pace attack of Ishant Sharma, Umesh Yadav, Mohammed Shami and Bhuvneshwar Kumar. This time Umesh Yadav was preferred over Bhuvneshwar Kumar – a decision that surprised some.
The first time India played a Test without a spinner was also in Perth back in 2011-12 under MS Dhoni. Umesh Yadav played in that side too with R Vinay Kumar, Zaheer Khan and Ishant Sharma as the other pacers. However, India lost that match by an innings and 37 runs
India’s Playing XI: Virat Kohli (C), Murali Vijay, Lokesh Rahul, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane, Hanuma Vihari, Rishabh Pant (wk), Umesh Yadav, Ishant Sharma, Mohammed Shami, Jasprit Bumrah.
Australia’s Playing XI: Aaron Finch, Marcus Harris, Usman Khawaja, Shaun Marsh, Peter Handscomb, Travis Head, Tim Paine (C & wk), Pat Cummins, Mitchell Starc, Nathan Lyon, Josh Hazlewood