Smith, Labuschagne aim to steady Australia
India vs Australia LIVE Score 1st Test Latest Updates: Turn from the other side as well as Axar Patel replaces Mohammed Siraj. Labuschagne and Smith will look to build a consistent stand after the visitors lost the openers. Axar Patel starts with a girl left.
India captain Rohit Sharma interacts with Australian counterpart Pat Cummins ahead of the Test series in Nagpur. AP
Preview: India take on Australia in the first of four Tests as the much-awaited Border-Gavaskar Trophy gets underway in Nagpur on Thursday.
This series adds more importance to both teams with places at the ICC World Test Championship at stake. The ICC announced on Wednesday that the WTC 2021-23 final will take place from June 7 to 11 at The Oval in London.
Should India win by a 3-0, 3-1 or a 4-0 margin, they will be all but assured of a place in the WTC final. Any other series margin for India will mean they have to depend on other Test series results going their way, with Sri Lanka taking on New Zealand in Kiwiland in March.
Rishabh Pant, Team India’s designated Test wicket-keeper, looks set to miss the majority of 2023 after being involved in a horrific car accident in December last year, and KS Bharat is likely to be given the go-ahead for the wicketkeeper’s slot, ahead of Ishan Kishan. who also in the team.
Another question will be that of the no. 5 batting position vacated by the injured Shreyas Iyer. Shubman Gill and Suryakumar Yadav are the likely contenders for that spot, but vice-captain KL Rahul was tight-lipped about the playing XI during a press conference on Tuesday.
“We haven’t decided on the final XI yet. It’s going to be a tough decision to make. There are guys who have performed very well and there are a few spots open so there are some discussions going on and the players are being talked to,” said Rahul.
Meanwhile, Australia, who have not won a Test series in India since 2004/05, have prepared using unique training methods instead of playing practice matches.
From employing Mahesh Pithiya, who resembles R Ashwin’s bowling action, at the nets, to practicing on specially prepared pitches, the Aussies have found unique methods to be ready for the series.
India: Rohit Sharma (c), Srikar Bharat (wk), Shubman Gill, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli, KL Rahul, Ravindra Jadeja, Ravichandran Ashwin, Axar Patel, Mohammed Shami, Mohammed Siraj, Ishan Kishan, Shreyas Iyer, Kuldeep Yadav, Suryakumar Yadav, Jaydev Unadkat, Umesh Yadav.
Australia: Alex Carey (wk), Pat Cummins (c), David Warner, Usman Khawaja, Marnus Labuschagne, Steven Smith, Travis Head, Nathan Lyon, Scott Boland, Todd Murphy, Mitchell Swepson, Peter Handscomb, Ashton Agar, Mitchell Starc, Matt Renshaw, Cameron Green, Lance Morris
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Updated date: February 9, 2023 10:11:59 IST
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