Sport Cricket Brad Hogg: The unique challenge the Aussies face in Bangalore

Brad Hogg: The unique challenge the Aussies face in Bangalore

Australia's cricketers prepare for the second Test. Photo: Getty
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I can’t wait for the second Test against India to start.

The first was a huge surprise – but great to watch. I was so impressed with the way we played.

But the Aussie boys better be prepared for some noise in Bangalore – because it is coming.

The fans there are very loud and when I’ve played there in the Indian Premier League, there’s a piercing whistle constantly going off.

It is unique to that particular ground.

Imagine your ears have been affected by a loud concert, then times it by 100 and that’s what you’ve got.

I remember playing there years ago, when Mohammad Azharuddin was given out.

The crowd were not happy and started going completely berserk.

They were throwing bottles over the fence and even the legs of the old metal chairs they used to have … they can get a bit fanatical!

Things have obviously changed since then and the Aussies won’t get that sort of response, but it will get loud because they love their cricket in Bangalore.

I’m expecting the Indian fans – and players – to fight back pretty hard after the first Test.

My time has gone but as a spinner, I would have loved the opportunity to bowl on that Pune pitch.

Matt Renshaw’s performance in the series opener stood out to me.

The youngster has obviously really listened to Matthew Hayden in their pre-series discussions.

The way Renshaw used his height and his feet to sweep or get down the pitch to the spin was superb. He showed great courage to use the reverse sweep, too.

Matt Renshaw impressed in the first Test. Photo: Getty

Steve Smith also used his feet really well and played with the spin rather than against it, and that’s the safest way to play spin in tough conditions.

Mitch Starc turned the Test around with his first-innings 61 in quick time and he then bowled superbly in his first spell, getting the key wickets of Cheteshwar Pujara and Virat Kohli, taking away the two players that both average around 100 against left-arm off-spin.

And where do I start with Steve O’Keefe? What a performance!

India’s top five batsmen traditionally fare very well against left-arm finger spin but he dominated.

I’ve spent a bit of time with O’Keefe at the National Cricket Academy – he was there doing some coaching when injured.

He was great dealing with the kids there and one thing that stood out was that he had a very good cricket brain.

That was on display in Pune. He just kept it simple and even though, out of the four key spinners in the Test – I’m not including Jayant Yadav – he beat the bat the least, O’Keefe was the most consistent at putting it on the penny.

It will be fascinating to see how Indian skipper Kohli plays in this second Test.

He has made double-centuries in the past four Test series he has played, but we managed to keep him quiet in Pune.

It’s the Australian way to always try to attack the leader and we’ve got him down.

If he’s thinking about his bad batting performances, it might affect his captaincy.

Having played at Bangalore a bit, I don’t think the toss is as important as it is on other Indian grounds. Teams can win batting last there.

I’ll be very interested to see how India responds at the selection table.

Sides always pick their best 11 for the first game but when they have a big loss, you see how a team is really going in its response.

If India, for example, drops Ajinkya Rahane, I think it shows it is starting to panic.

This Test looks like it will go five days and I reckon the pitch will bring everyone into the game. It will be very close.

I’m really hoping Australia can win. We’ve got the momentum and I reckon we can do it. Bring it on.

Spinner Brad Hogg has represented Australia on 145 occasions, featuring for the nation’s Test, one-day and Twenty20 teams. He currently plays in the Big Bash League for the Melbourne Renegades.

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