Team India are all set to face their arch-rivals Australia in the first test match in Adelaide, with all the focus on Virat Kohli. They play their first Pink-Ball Test overseas and the test series is their second assignment for the World Test Championship. The result of the series will be directly proportional to their ICC rankings and to their standings in the WTC points table. The final of the WTC will be played at Lord’s next year. Meanwhile, with Kohli playing just the first Test before he leaves home, the onus is on him to play the best he can at Adelaide.
Team India have already announced their playing XI for the first Test. There have been some surprising exclusions especially after they performed well in the warm-up games leading into the test series. Prithvi Shaw and Wriddhiman Saha are part of the playing XI when everyone expected, Shubman Gill and Rishabh Pant to be in the team. Both Gill and Pant scored runs in the warm-up games and looked favorites to be a part of the XI. However, the decision o leave them out is disappointing to say the least.
However, it is in the middle-order and in the bowling line-up where India’s real strength lies. Virat Kohli, Cheteshwar Pujara and Ajinkya Rahane form the Indian middle-order. They are serious players and can pose problems for the Aussie bowlers if they get a start. Hanuma Vihari, who has been slotted at number six has also impressed with his performance in the past.
The Indian bowling line-up has three pacers and Ravichandran Ashwin. Umesh Yadav, Mohammed Shami and Jasprit Bumrah are the three pacers forming the line-up. India will be without the services of Ishant Sharma who has been ruled out of the test series with a hamstring injury.
India’s First Pink-Ball Test Overseas
Adelaide has been a happy hunting ground for India in the past and for Kohli as well. They will be hoping to make the most of their ‘homely conditions’ at the venue.
Australia head into the Pink-Ball Test and the series having as favorites given the return of David Warner and Steve Smith for the series. The absence of Kohli in the last three tests plays into their hands as well.
Australia skipper Tim Paine has already hinted at the openers for the first Test in the pre-match presser. Joe Burns and Matthew Wade are likely to open with Steve Smit back at his familiar number three position. He will be followed by Marnus Labuschange at number four. They might even switch places depending upon the situation of the game.
Australia have a few injury concerns ahead of the first test. David Warner and Will Pucovski has already been ruled out of the first test. Cameron Green is recovering from an injury and the decision on hi inclusion will be taken after a fitness test.
Meanwhile, the Aussie pace attack edges past the Indian attack just a little bit. Mitchell Starc, Pat Cummins and Josh Hazelwood form a serious trio with Nathan Lyon as the specialist spinner.
In 98 overall matches between the two teams, Australia have won 42 games, while India 28. However, India are the current champions of the Border-Gavaskar trophy.
Weather & Pitch Conditions For Pink-Ball Test
Adelaide provides the most batting-friendly pitch among all the grounds in Australia. However, this match being a Pink-Ball test, as per reports some grass has been left on the pitch to keep the shine of the ball intact. Also the pitch wears a greenish look to it. India playing their maiden day-night test overseas will have more challenges than Australia who have the experience of playing the newest format already.
Team News For Pink-Ball Test
Ishant Sharma is already out of the Test series. Ravindra Jadeja will not play the first test. Meanwhile, India have announced the playing XI for the first Test. Shaw has been chosen over Gill for the opener’s role, while Saha has been chosen over Pant despite the latter’s better form with the bat.
Australia, have their own set of concerns. Coach Justin Langer and skipper Tim Paine has hinted about the look of the side. However, they are yet to announce the side for the first Test. Meanwhile, Warner and Pucovski are ruled out from the first test. A decision on Cameron Green will be taken after a fitness test.
Joe Burns, Marcus Harris, Marnus Labuschagne, Steven Smith, Travis Head, Cameron Green, Tim Paine(w/c), Pat Cummins, Mitchell Starc, Nathan Lyon, Matthew Wade, Josh Hazlewood, Moises Henriques, James Pattinson, Michael Neser, Mitchell Swepson
Prithvi Shaw, Mayank Agarwal, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli(c), Ajinkya Rahane, Hanuma Vihari, Rishabh Pant, Ravichandran Ashwin, Mohammed Shami, Navdeep Saini, Jasprit Bumrah, Umesh Yadav, KL Rahul, Shubman Gill, Ravindra Jadeja, Mohammed Siraj, Wriddhiman Saha(w), Kuldeep Yadav
India’s Playing XI For First Test
Prithvi Shaw, Mayank Agarwal, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli (C), Ajinkya Rahane, Hanuma Vihari, Wriddhiman Saha, Ravi Ashwin, Jasprit Bumrah, Umesh Yadav and Mohammed Shami.