IndvsAus, 1st Test: Match Preview
Pune: The refreshed Indian Cricket team is set to begin one of most difficult series of the season, the Border-Gavaskar trophy against the Kangaroos. The Maharashtra Cricket Association stadium will witness Kohli and Smith brigades fighting for the trophy.
With the recent triumph over England in all three formats of the game, captaincy has clearly worked as an elixir to the combative Kohli. Virat’s aggressive brand of Cricket and his unbelievable run with the bat defines him, yet his deft bowling changes and fielding placements are also earning him a reputation as an astute thinker of the game.
Earlier, it was said that Indian batting line-up is team’s core strength but in the past three years, bowling department has changed the myth by delivering some brilliant performances.
Moving to Indian batting, Murali Vijay is showing superlative batting prowess while KL Rahul is still struggling with the bat. Rahul who is blessed with all the shots of the cricket books, he is heavily backed by captain Kohli. Indian think tank would come into work, if Rahul fails to put runs on the board in the four-match series.
With an awe-inspiring triple century, 25-year old Karun Nair has shown why he is being hailed as the latest sensation in Indian Cricket. But, with Ajinkya Rahane’s 82-run knock against Bangladesh and experience in red ball Cricket, Nair’s place in the playing IX seems impossible.
Just like Virat Kohli, Cheteshwar Pujara has turned into a consistent species in the Test Cricket. Pujara could be said as the Rahul Dravid of the new generation with an average of 51.08.
Australia would be most afraid by Indian spin duo R Ashwin and R Jadeja, who have destroyed the crops of several big teams. The five-wicket haul has become a natural thing for Ashwin while Jadeja has also melted down the batting line-up’s of opponents at crucial moments of the game.
The pacers in the form of Umesh Yadav and Ishant Sharma could be brutal for Steve Smith and company. India will most probably go for three spinners and in that case Bhuvneshwar Kumar’s place in the side seems tough. Kohli will have to make a choice from Jayant Yadav and Kuldeep Yadav.
The other side:
Australia had said that it will not hesitate to sledge and in that case there will also be a temper test of Kohli and brigade. David Warner is at his very very best. If guns like Usman Khawaja, Steven Smith, Glenn Maxwell, Peter Handscomb and Matthew Wade began blazing, then there could be a high and dry situation for India.
Mitchell Starc and Josh Hazlewood will be the men to watch out for as whether they could get the red bowl swing or not. Nathan Lyon, was the spinner, who impressed the most when Australia toured India lastly.
India (From): Murali Vijay, Lokesh Rahul, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli(c), Ajinkya Rahane, Wriddhiman Saha(w), Ravichandran Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Umesh Yadav, Ishant Sharma, Kuldeep Yadav, Abhinav Mukund, Karun Nair, Jayant Yadav, Hardik Pandya
Australia (From): David Warner, Matt Renshaw, Usman Khawaja, Steven Smith(c), Glenn Maxwell, Peter Handscomb, Matthew Wade(w), Mitchell Starc, Steve O'Keefe, Nathan Lyon, Josh Hazlewood, Mitchell Marsh, Shaun Marsh, Mitchell Swepson, Ashton Agar, Jackson Bird