The hosts Australia and the visitors India are ready to begin their challenge in the much-awaited four-match Test series. Adelaide Oval (Adelaide) will host the opening match of this series from Thursday (17th December) and it will be the first day/night pink-ball Test match between these two teams.
Like every time, the first match of the tough Test series is going to be very crucial for both these teams as the opening game of the challenging series always helps to set up the momentum for the stronger side, and bring the pressure for the struggling side.
Australia vs India, 1st Test: Match Preview
After Virat Kohli-led Indian team won their first-ever Test series in Australia in 2018/19 summer, Tim Paine-led Australian team has gradually grown up as one of the most dangerous Test teams. Since that historic home series defeat, Australia haven’t suffered a home Test defeat as they won all their last seven home Tests.
Moreover, the Australian side are the most successful team in the day/night pink-ball Test match as they have won all their seven home day/night Tests. As the Indian team hasn’t much experience with the pink-ball, it can give more advantage to the hosts.
However, the Australian camp is currently seriously struggling with the fitness issues, and it is the big headache for them. While David Warner is out of the first Test due to adductor muscle injury, Test uncapped Sean Abbott will also miss this first Test due to calf injury. Also, the talented youngster Will Pucovski suffered a concussion during a recent warm-up game for Australia A against India, which has forced him to miss the opening game of this Test series.
Due to the back problem, Smith left the net practice just two days ahead of the beginning Test series. However, he is likely to play the opening Test match after presenting in the net practice on Wednesday. Also, the crucial pacers Josh Hazlewood and Mitchell Starc have recently recovered from their respective injuries.
The regular Test players have to perform strongly in this upcoming Test series to handle the top-quality visitors.
Tim Paine (C/wk), Joe Burns, Pat Cummins, Cameron Green, Marcus Harris, Josh Hazlewood, Travis Head, Moises Henriques, Marnus Labuschagne, Nathan Lyon, Michael Neser, James Pattinson, Will Pucovski, Steve Smith, Mitchell Starc, Mitchell Swepson, Matthew Wade
The Indian national cricket team is now one of the most challenging side in the away Tests. Apart from the last New Zealand tour in last February, India have recently impressed with their away Test performances.
The visitors will face tougher job due to starting this Test series with their first-ever away day/night pink-ball Test match and that too against the unbeaten home side in this new Test format. But it is definitely most important match in this Test series, especially for the Indian team as their regular captain Virat Kohli will unavailable for the last three Tests of this series.
Their is no doubt that the top quality Indian pace bowlers will put strong challenge on the hosts’ batting line-up. They have to play major role in this Test series. However, the Indian batsmen must have to play their part to make this tour successful.
Opener Mayank Agarwal will start with youngster Prithvi Shaw in the first Test. Cheteshwar Pujara and vice-captain Ajinkya Rahane will have to huge responsibilities with the bat in this Test series. It will be more helpful for the visitors if the lower-order batting line-up provide some useful contributions during this Test series.
Virat Kohli (C), Ajinkya Rahane (vc), Mayank Agarwal, Prithvi Shaw, KL Rahul, Cheteshwar Pujara, Hanuma Vihari, Shubman Gill, Wriddhiman Saha (wk), Rishabh Pant (wk), Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Shami, Umesh Yadav, Navdeep Saini, Kuldeep Yadav, Ravindra Jadeja, Ravichandran Ashwin, Mohammed Siraj
Australia vs India, 1st Test: Match Prediction
While the hosts Australia have enough experiences in the pink-ball Test, it will be India’s second pink-ball Test experience and first away pink-ball Test experience. So, the hosts are obviously favourite for the opening match of this series.
However, the inexperience can also be one of the biggest plus points for the visitors as they can begin this tough series without taking any pressure.