India’s Predicted Playing XI for 1st Test vs Australia: Sportsrush presents before you India’s playing XI for the first Test at Adelaide.
With the T20I leg of India’s tour of Australia coming to an end, all eyes are now on the all-important Test series which will start from the first Test to be played at Adelaide on December 6.
While the T20I series ended up in a 1-1 draw, both fans and players would be hoping that the four match Test series yields a clear result.
Amid all that has been said and discussed about the Test series, one thing which has allured many opinions is India’s playing XI. The last Test which India played was in India. With a massive change in the conditions, one expects a few changes to happen in their playing eleven as well.
In which is a mammoth 18-member squad, it might just be a case of being spoilt for options as far is the Indian team is concerned. Among the key areas for them to ponder about are the opening combination and whether they will play five specialist bowlers or plan an extra specialist batsman.
India’s Predicted Playing XI for 1st Test vs Australia
1) Top-order – In which perhaps becomes the most crucial batting combination for India in overseas Tests, it is also an area which is likely to give them the most headache. Lokesh Rahul and Prithvi Shaw had faced the new ball for India during their home series against Windies last month.
While Shaw ended up winning the ‘Man of the Series’ trophy in his debut series, Rahul returned with scores of 0, 4 and 33* in the three innings that India played. There is no hiding to the fact that Murali Vijay would make a great opener in Australia but there is a general feeling that he might have to wait for his chance.
Citing his ‘back-foot’ play as the reason, some experts might be advocating for Rohit Sharma to bat at No. 3. While that would a highly risky option, it would also be unfair on Cheteshwar Pujara. Expect the 30-year old batsman to play his natural waiting game for India.
2) Middle-order – It is apparent that there will be plentiful eyeballs on India captain Virat Kohli, who will undoubtedly hold the key for his team down under. Kohli, who scored a match-winning half-century in the third T20I at Sydney, has already showed early signs of his form. He might just be the difference between the two sides in the Test series.
In the nine Test matches which Ajinkya Rahane has played this year, he has scored 445 runs at an average of 29.66 and a strike rate of 42.22. Post his last Test century, Rahane has scored 479 runs in 13 matches at an average of 22.80 and a strike rate of 40.45. The numbers certainly don’t do justice to someone of Rahane’s potential.
The 30-year old right-hand batsman would himself be looking to make amends during this all-important series. Rahane has the game to succeed in Australia for the last time India toured Australia, Rahane scored 399 runs in four matches at an average of 57 and a strike rate of 63.53. Hopefully for India, Rahane’s lean patch will end in the imminent series.
Rookie wicket-keeper batsman Rishabh Pant has received some flak recently for his poor shot selection. At No. 6, Pant will have to be careful with the same, chiefly in cricket’s ancestral format. Carelessness at which has it in it to make life difficult for Pant down under.
3) Bowlers – Since the turf in Adelaide tends to assist spinners, India might benefit from playing both their spinners in Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja. Given that both of them have displayed batting prowess in the past, one expects them to stand tall on the expectations.
Apart from solving India’s lower-order issues, this option will also make sure that India have the comfort of five wicket-taking options.
India’s conundrum doesn’t end here. Among the five fast bowlers that they have picked up, they will have to leave out two. While Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammad Shami seem to be first-choice in the playing XI, India will have to opt one out of Umesh Yadav, Ishant Sharma and Bhuvneshwar Kumar.
Given the conditions in Australia, it might end up being a toss between Yadav and Sharma. Having picked up a match-winning 10-wicket haul in his last Test at Hyderabad, Yadav is likely to get a go ahead of Sharma.
India’s Playing XI for the first Test vs Australia – 1) Lokesh Rahul 2) Prithvi Shaw 3) Cheteshwar Pujara 4) Virat Kohli (c) 5) Ajinkya Rahane 6) Rishabh Pant (wk) 7) Ravichandran Ashwin 8) Ravindra Jadeja 9) Mohammad Shami 10) Umesh Yadav 11) Jasprit Bumrah
Read some of the latest Twitter reactions on India’s tour of Australia:
— Fox Cricket (@FoxCricket) November 27, 2018
“Hopefully in Tests, it will be a different story – we’ve got some good pace bowlers and Nathan Lyon.”
Alex Carey reckons Australia are capable of restraining Virat Kohli during the upcoming Test series between Australia and India.
— ICC (@ICC) November 26, 2018
Australia is reeling from being “hammered” by Pakistan and South Africa, giving an edge to India in their upcoming four-Test series.
That is according to cricket legend, Wasim Akram.
— Fox Cricket (@FoxCricket) November 27, 2018
— cricket.com.au (@cricketcomau) November 27, 2018