India vs Australia 2nd Test: More to the snake than just the head, Ashwin's back and fast bowling brilliance

Deepak Vikraman
India, Ishant, Kohli, 2nd Test, Australia

India showed why they are the number one side by producing a brilliant come-from-behind victory over Australia in the second Test match in Bengaluru.

Smith, DRS and looking upstairs

Needing a win to keep their hopes of topping Australia in this series alive, India came back from the dead to stun their opponents.

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Here are the talking points from the second Test match.

Cutting off the head not enough to bring down the snake:

Dale Steyn started it and was left to regret it and then when Nathan Lyon said the thing about getting Kohli's wicket and cutting off the head of the snake, the immediate thought was, "oh, all you're doing is motivating this India side."

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So it proved.

Cheteshwar Pujara, KL Rahul and Ajinkya Rahane showed, even when Kohli doesn't score too many runs, India can get the necessary score on the board. This India side are reliant on Kohli and R Ashwin, but this was a Test match where others stepped up as well, particularly with the bat.

Not just feast and famine for Rahul, finally!

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It was about time he shed that tag and his two half-centuries in Bengaluru will go a long way in doing so. While Rahul should have gone on and scored big in at least one of those innings, India will take a consistent Rahul over "scores a century or gets out for nothing" Rahul.

Is Ajinkya Rahane back?

It wasn't the innings to end all innings. There are still quite a few chinks in Rahane's armour on these slow wickets. But, what was great to see was that he showed he is willing to improve and work on his faults. A change in where he stood at the crease to the spinners, getting out the sweep shot more and just showing that he wasn't intimidated allowed Rahane to score the beyond valuable half-century in the second innings.

Rahane's 118-run partnership with the brilliant Cheteshwar Pujara was the game-changer and India need their No.5 to play such innings more often in these conditions.

R Ashwin the tormentor-in-chief:

He is still not quite back to his absolute best – such are his ridiculously high standards – but boy was it nice to see Ashwin amongst the wickets. The off-spinner, himself, admitted he still has a few more improvements to make, but those six wickets in the second innings will give him bags of confidence going into the third Test in Ranchi.

Fast bowlers shine on a slow wicket:

How brilliant was it to see such quality fast bowling in this Test match. Ishant Sharma's spell on day two morning was beyond outstanding. Umesh Yadav and his reverse-swing is just plain awesome to watch. Mitchell Starc showed why he is the best with today's spell with the new ball. Josh Hazlewood was on the money all the time, and got his due rewards.

Nathan Lyon might have picked up eight and Ravindra Jadeja and R Ashwin might have taken plenty of scalps as well, but watching the fast bowlers in action and the batsmen trying to survive, was the most absorbing part of this Test match.

Battle between Smith and Kohli fantastic:

There is plenty of talk when these two are out in the middle, but also quite a lot of mutual respect. Just the way the fielding captain celebrates the wicket of his counterpart is enough to know how much respect there is and while Smith is edging this contest in terms of runs, for sheer inspiration, Kohli takes the cake in this second Test.

Things got pretty heated during the Smith-looks-up-to-the-dressing-room DRS furore and the way these two teams are playing, don't be surprised if a bit more spice is added in Ranchi.

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