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Australia unchanged for second India Test

BANGALORE: Australia captain Steve Smith said Friday that the visitors will go with the same team that thrashed India in the opening Test for the second encounter in Bangalore.

The tourists stunned the Virat Kohli-led hosts and the world’s number one side in the first Test in Pune last week to go 1-0 up in the four match series.

The second-ranked Australians, who came into the series as underdogs, humiliated the home side in just three days by beating them at their own game of spin on a viciously turning track.

Smith, who led from the front with a gritty century in Australia’s second innings, said he had no hesitations in declaring the same XI for the second Test Bangalore’s M Chinnaswamy Stadium.

“Same team. Based on the way we performed last week. It was a good mix of two fast bowlers, an allrounder that bowls quick and two quality spinners as well,” Smith told reporters on the eve of match, which starts Saturday.

Left-arm spinner Steve O’Keefe claimed a career-best match haul of 12 wickets to help skittle out India for paltry scores of 105 and 107 in Pune, but the tourists expect a different track in Bangalore.

Smith said he expected the Indian pitches to behave the same way as they did during India’s recent 4-0 series win over England when batsmen playing the second innings found it hard to score runs.

“First innings there were big runs scored and the pitch obviously deteriorated and spinner could come into play probably later on.

“So looking at this wicket we think it’s going to be similar to those games against England,” he added.

Kohli refused to give anything away about India’s likely line-up, saying the team management would leave it to the 11th hour before deciding on who would get the nod.

“As far as the team combination, throwing in a lot of options, and eventually we will come to a conclusion this evening what is the XI that we want to go with,” said Kohli.

“But there is all kinds of possibilities tomorrow morning, maybe a few surprises as well,” he added.

Australia XI: David Warner, Matt Renshaw, Steven Smith (capt), Shaun Marsh, Peter Handscomb, Mitchell Marsh, Matthew Wade, Mitchell Starc, Steve O’Keefe, Nathan Lyon, Josh Hazlewood.

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