The first of the total four test matches between India and Australia will begin tomorrow at 9:30 AM IST in MCA Stadium, Pune. It will be an important series for both sides as India might want to repeat the clean sweep like the 2013 series whereas the Aussies will be all set to take revenge of that series loss.
The series will continue till 29 Mar having 4 test matches which will be played in Pune, Bengaluru, Ranchi and Dharamsala respectively. The first test will be played from 23 Feb to 27 Feb.
Abhinav Mukund – the left-handed batsman – returns to the team after long 5 years and will look forward to making an impact in this test series. Karun Nair will be all set to get among runs after that wonderful Triple Century against England. The openers K.L. Rahul and Murali Vijay have already shown good form in the recently held India-Bangladesh Test Match whereas Ajinkya Rahane has never disappointed whenever the team needed him. The Indian team looks a balanced side in the lights of Virat Kohli who will be all set to get his 5 th Double Hundred in 5 consecutive series. Virat Kohli looks in great touch and can destroy the opposition single-handedly. The Indian bowling attack in the lights of Ashwin – Jadeja pair looks threatening with Umesh Yadav and Bhuvneshwar Kumar also contributing. The all-rounders Ashwin, Jadeja, Jayant Yadav can prove very beneficial for the Indian Team.The Indian Squad looks good with many promising players but they still have to prove themselves against the world class fast bowlers of the Australian Squad.
On the other hand, the Aussies are no less. In the lights of Steven Smith, who can play longer innings, the Aussies can take advantage of the less experienced Indian bowlers like Jayant Yadav etc. The Australian top order can prove fatal for the Indians as Matt Renshaw and David Warner scored 184 and 113 respectively in their last test match against Pakistan. Also, Usman Khawaja who is known to play big innings out of nowhere can be very dangerous for the Indians. David Warner has improved his test cricket in the last 2-3 years to such an extent that he cannot be taken lightly by the Indian bowlers. Glenn Maxwell is also back in the squad and he is such a batsman that once he gets going, he will take his side to a very big total. Talking about their bowling, Aussies have a threatening pace bowling attack in the lights of Mitchell Starc who can destroy his opposition completely. But the main question is that will pace bowling be effective in this Indian Soil? Past tests have shown that only spin can win you matches in India, so it will very interesting to watch how effective Starc will be in this series. So, the only hope in terms of spin for Australia will be Nathan Lyon who is experienced but his past performances in India are not so good. Also, Mitchell Marsh – the all-rounder – can prove his worth in both batting and bowling.
Overall, both sides are equally experienced and balanced, so, it will be great fun to watch which team dominate the other in this test series as both have world class players to watch out for. Surely, it will be a cracker of a series.
INDIAN SQUAD FOR THE SERIES:
Lokesh Rahul, Murali Vijay, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli (C), Ajinkya Rahane, Wriddhiman Saha (Wk), Ravichandran Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Umesh Yadav, Ishant Sharma, Abhinav Mukund, Karun Nair, Jayant Yadav, Kuldeep Yadav, Hardik Pandya.
AUSTRALIAN SQUAD FOR THE SERIES:
David Warner, Matt Renshaw, Usman Khawaja, Steven Smith (C), Peter Handscomb, Steve O’Keefe, Josh Hazlewood, Nathan Lyon, Shaun Marsh, Jackson Bird, Glenn Maxwell, Mitchell Swepson, Ashton Agar, Matthew Wade (Wk), Mitchell Marsh, Mitchell Starc.