The Battle of Champions: Border-Gavaskar Trophy Preview
India’s tour of Australia has been an evenly matched contest until now. The host’s triumphed in the ODI series while team India fought back to win the t20 series. Up next is the biggest challenge for the Men in Blue. The 4 match test series will be a unique challenge for the current number 2 test side in the world against the host Australia who are currently ranked 1 in the ICC WORLD TEST CHAMPIONSHIP POINTS TABLE.
India has fond memories of the last time they played a test series in Australia. The team led by Virat Kohli created history as they won the Border-Gavaskar trophy. This year however some key members will be missing from the Indian Cricket Team. Tune into the Bharat Army's podcast where we discuss key aspects on the opening pair, Kohli's absence, wicketkeepers and third seamer/spin options - this is one Indian cricket fans don't want to miss!
Virat Kohli will only be available for the 1st test which is a huge blow to the side. Another experienced campaigner, Rohit Sharma will miss the first 2 matches at least. The absence of experienced fast bowler Ishant Sharma will play a critical part too.
The top order will need to reshuffle with the likes of Prithvi Shaw, KL Rahul, Shubman Gill all in contention for the top spots. Cheteshwar Pujara and Ajinkya Rahane will be the backbones of the batting lineup and their experience will be very useful under tough conditions. Let us know on our SM channel your thoughts on which middle-order batsman will score the most runs and join the Bharat Army on Instagram after the end of every day's play.
Another selection dilemma is the choice of the wicketkeeper. Rishabh Pant was the second-highest run-scorer in the Test series against Australia and scored a brisk century in the practice game against Aus-A. Wriddhiman Saha on the other side has been consistent with his performances.
The bowling department will rely on Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammed Shami to set the tone against a strong Australian batting lineup. To provide support to them will be Umesh Yadav, Navdeep Saini, Mohammed Siraj who will have to step up whenever called upon to give team India a chance to win the series. According to Harsha Bhogle, the battle between Bumrah v/s Smith will decide the result of the Border-Gavaskar Test Series.
Spinners R. Ashwin and Kuldeep Yadav will look to trap the Aussie batsman in their Spinning web to get an upper hand. And, it will be up to R. Jadeja to control the flow of the game, as such, it will be interesting to see for which option does the Indian skipper opt for.
Australia, on the other hand, will be boosted with the returns of Steve Smith and David Warner. Warner, however, has been ruled out of the 1st test but could return before the start of the second test.
Their batting line up looks neatly balanced who given a chance, would love to pile misery against the Indian bowlers. On the bowling front, Australia probably has the best bowling lineup in the world with Pat Cummins, Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazelwood and Nathan Lyon making a deadly combination. That attack can bring any team to its knees if they are not dealt with properly.
The 4 match series starts on 17th December at Adelaide with a pink ball test. Australia has played the most n.o of pink-ball tests till date while India has been part of only 1 pink ball test.
The series promises to be a thriller, with no side expected to back down once they take the field. It will be exciting to see how team India copes without the big names under the leadership of Ajinkya Rahane.
Bharat Army Prediction for India vs Australia Test Series 2020-21: Draw 1-1
India Test squad: Virat Kohli (c) (first Test only), Ajinkya Rahane (vice-captain), Rohit Sharma, 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 Test squad: Tim Paine (c), Sean Abbott, Joe Burns, Pat Cummins, Cameron Green, Marcus Harris, Josh Hazlewood, Travis Head, Marnus Labuschagne, Nathan Lyon, Michael Neser, James Pattinson, Will Pucovski, Steve Smith, Mitchell Starc, Mitchell Swepson, Matthew Wade, David Warner
India's Playing XI for the Adelaide test: