The biggest challenge awaits as Australia announced an 18-member squad for the four Test matches against India in their own den to be played from 9 February. Australia will be high on confidence as they are a step closer to the World Test Championship cycle for 2021/23. They drew 1-1 against Sri Lanka in Sri Lanka and then register a historic 1-0 win over Pakistan in Pakistan last year. It promises to be an exciting series between the top two Test teams in the world.
David Warner and Usman Khawaja will comprise of openers. The middle order comprises Steve Smith, Marnus Labuschagne, Matt Renshaw, Cameron Green, and Travis Head while Alex Carey will do the wicketkeeping job.
Mitchell Starc has been ruled out of the first Test to be played in Nagpur due to an injury. Pat Cummins, Scott Boland, Josh Hazlewood, and Lance Morris comprise pace bowling options. Australia named four spinners including Nathan Lyon, Mitchell Swepson, uncapped Todd Murphy, and Ashton Agar.
Peter Handscomb has been a backup wicketkeeper for Australia. Cameron Green also suffered an injury during the 2nd Test match against South Africa at MCG but did not feature in the 3rd Test match at SCG due to the same injury.
The four Test matches are a part of the ICC World Test Championship cycle. It will be their first Test tour to India after a gap of six years. Australia lost that series by 1-2 after winning and thrashing India by 333 runs in the first encounter played at MCA Stadium, Pune. India won the 2nd Test match at Bangalore by 75 runs before the third Test match at Ranchi was a drawn affair.
The fourth Test match played at Dharamshala ended with India winning the match by 8 wickets. It will present a stern challenge for Pat Cummins and Co ahead of the Border Gavaskar Test series. Australia starts the Test series with the first one played at Nagpur on 9th Feb 2nd match at Arun Jaitley Stadium, New Delhi on 17th Feb, the third Test match in Dharamshala on 1st March, and then the final Test match to be played on 9th March in Ahmedabad.
Australia Test squad:
David Warner, Usman Khawaja, Marnus Labuschagne, Steve Smith, Travis Head, Cameron Green, Alex Carey (WK), Matthew Renshaw, Cameron Green, Peter Handscomb, Lance Morris, Pat Cummins (C), Josh Hazlewood, Scott Boland, Mitchell Starc, Todd Murphy, Nathan Lyon, Mitchell Swepson, Ashton Agar.