Team Blue is ready to don their white jerseys down under. The test opener is scheduled to be played in Adelaide from 17th of December. This will also be India’s first away day and night test.
The test squad will be a bit different from the white one. Likes of Iyer, Dhawan and Pandya won’t be a part of the test squad. Selectors have also shown faith in youngsters like Prithvi Shaw and Shubman Gill.
Though the bowling department looks strong but India will dearly miss the services of Bhubaneswar and Ishant as they are the experienced campaigners and have proved their mettle in past. Jadeja is out of the squad due to the concussion he received in the first T20 international.
The first test is a pink ball test in Adelaide. If you look at the features of the Pink ball, it is a bit different from the red ball. The Pink ball is harder and offers lot more bounce and swing than the red ball. It behaves wild under the lights as well. One amusing thing with the Pink Ball is that, it offers reverse swing a bit late than the stock red ball. Also, spinners will enjoy their time with the ball as it bounces well.
Australian team is more balanced than they were in the last tour. But with Warner out due to groin injury and uncapped opener Will Pucvoski also ruled out, opening slots look vulnerable. But with Smith and Labuschagne in form, their middle order looks solid. Australian spearhead comprises Starx, Hazlewood, Cummins and Pattinson- all have performed well in recent past. The G.O.A.T. – Nathan Lyon too will be a player to watch out for. He has an impressive run against India in tests.
Without Dhawan and Rohit, Virat and company may start with Mayank and Rahul. They both are in good touch despite some failures in white ball outings. But let’s not keep Shubman out of the contention. Pujara will be obvious for number 3 position, followed by Virat and Rahane.
Hanuma Vihari must play as number 6 as he gives a bowling option as well. Saha looks like the first choice wicket-keeper here; but Rahul might get a go as a test keeper as well just to provide an extra cushion with an extra batsman. Ashwin would be the sole specialist spinner. Then Shami and Bumrah would be the spearheads and Umesh Yadav is likely to make to the playing XI as the third seamer.
India previously played a Pink Ball match against Bangladesh which proved a cake walk for the team. This won’t be an easy task against the equally good and competetive team like Australia. We are all up for a India – Australia competition, a competition of temperament and energy. Buckle up folks!