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Australia vs India First Test Preview: Aussies injury concerns give India a chance
- Australia host India in Adelaide for the first Test starting on Thursday
- This will be a day-night Test to be played with Pink ball
- Australia have won six of their last seven Tests played in Adelaide
- India have lost eight of their last 11 first Tests of a series outside Asia and West Indies
- Steve Smith has scored 769 runs in four home Tests against India with four 100s
India will struggle to repeat the heroics of their last Australia tour (Getty Images)
After the white ball series that saw Australia and India share the honours, action moves to the Test arena. The four-match Border-Gavaskar Trophy will also have huge implications on the ICC World Test Championship standings. This day-night Test will be played at the Adelaide Oval in Adelaide starting from Thursday, December 17.
Australia have been hit hard by injuries as a number of key players remain out of contention. David Warner, Will Pucovski, and Sean Abbott have all been sidelined due to various reasons. Marcus Harris and Moises Henriques have been added to the squad, but they have been hit hard by the disjointed preparations.
Adelaide, however, has proven to be Australia’s favourite Test spot which should raise their spirits. The hosts have won all seven day-night Tests in Australia with four of those played in Adelaide.
Steve Smith reported a sore back in today’s training, but should be fit for the match. Coach Justin Langer has indicated that all-rounder Cameron Green will debut if he passes the fitness Test prior to the match. All eyes will be on the opening duo, as Joe Burns and Marcus Harris could get the nod.
India played a couple of practice matches, including a Pink ball game against Australia ‘A’. Although regulars Virat Kohli and Cheteshwar Pujara sat out that match, the visitors at least have no injury concerns.
The visitors lost on their last tour to New Zealand early in 2020, although they have happy memories of their previous Australia tour that ended 2-1 in India’s favour. However, question marks remain over their opening and third seamer choices.
Shubman Gill impressed in the last practice match and could get the nod to open along with Mayank Agarwal. The third seamer slot could go to Umesh Yadav, although Siraj Mohammed could be a surprise choice. Wriddhiman Saha remains the front runner to start ahead of Rishabh Pant, if India decide to go with six batsmen. Ravichandran Ashwin and Kuldeep Yadav could be fighting for the lone spinner’s slot, although an all-pace attack can’t be entirely ruled out.
Australia vs India Head to Head
Australia have won 42 of the 98 Tests against India, losing only 28 with 27 ending as draws. That record improves to 29-7 in 48 home Tests although Australia have won only one of their last six home Test against India.
Australia vs India Match Up
Australia start as favourites as their bowling unit of Pat Cummins, Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazlewood and Nathan Lyon gives them a distinct advantage. And with the bat, Steve Smith and Marnus Labuschagne should mask the absence of David Warner. India will need Virat Kohli and Cheteshwar Pujara at their best, while Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammed Shami may miss the injured Ishant Sharma’s control.
Australia vs India Stats
- Australia have won all seven day-night Tests played in Australia.
- Australia have won six of their last seven Tests played in Adelaide.
- India have lost eight of their last 11 first Tests of a series outside Asia and West Indies.
- India have lost their last two away Tests.
- Steve Smith has scored 769 runs in four home Tests against India with four 100s.
- Virat Kohli has scored 431 runs in three Tests in Adelaide with three 100s.
Australia start as favourites for this Test although injuries to their key players give India an outside chance. Kohli will be returning home after this Test and will be looking to leave his mark. The batting returns of the two teams could decide who starts the series with a win.