The Indian cricket team is up against their rivals Australia in a mouth-watering Test series. The first Test match is all set to be played in Nagpur where Men in Blue will commence the defence of the record where Australia has yet to register a Test series win in India since 2004.

Speaking of the Indian team, they are without the likes of S.Iyer, J. Bumrah, and R.Pant all of whom are an integral part of the Indian Test setup. Indian team management will now have to explore options to fill in the void that has been left up by these players. With options such as S.Gill. K.S Bharat, I. Kishan, and Suryakumar Yadav the team management will now have to fill in the puzzle to find the right picks. 

Meanwhile, the Australian team themselves have absentees, players such as J. Hazelwood is not available for the first two Test matches, while M. Starc also suffered an injury blow before the important fixture. It has been reported that both of these players will be available for the second Test but nothing is certain as of now. 

India vs Australia Head to Head in BGT 

  • Number of Series played – 15 
  • Wins for India – 9 
  • Wins for Australia – 5 
  • Draws – 1

BGT Test Series in India 

  • Number of Series Played – 8 
  • Wins for India – 7 
  • Wins for Australia – 1 

The statistics above clearly highlight the fact that the Indian team plays very well in their home condition and has a better win ratio. The last time when the Aussies did manage to win a Test series on Indian soil was back in 2004. 

India’s Predicted Playing X1 

Team India have got to make the most of the players that have got at their disposal. There are some tough calls to make that will determine India’s performance throughout the series. While there is a case of S. Gill on the back of splendid performances in limited overs, and the same can be said for Suryakumar Yadav. 

The major area of concern for India has to be the pick for a wicketkeeper. In absence of R.Pant, the possible options are K.S Bharat, I.Kishan, and K.L Rahul. Now amongst these Bharat is an out-n-out full-time wicket-keeper and therefore he is likely to make the cut. Even if I. Kishan does make the team there will be a ripple effect on the other selection choices. 

The headache does not stop here, India have R. Jadeja back fit and ready to go. In his absence, it was A. Patel who shouldered the responsibility of leading the spin attack and doing a decent enough job. However, Jadeja has been the backbone of the Indian team as the all-rounder being omnipresent and delivering whenever called upon. 

Here is the predicted playing X1 Indian team for the first Test vs Australia 

India Playing X1 – R. Sharma {C}, K.L Rahul, C. Pujara, V. Kohli, S. Gill, K.S Bharat {WK}, R.Jadeja, R. Ashwin, U. Yadav, M. Siraj, M. Shami.

Indian Players to Watch Out For

  1. Ashwin – If there is one player that has been a constant thorn in Australia’s side it has to be Aswhin. The veteran spin bowler has time and again come to the rescue of his team and been the decisive factor. He has been at the top of his game in Tests which is highlighted by this stat, in the four-match test series Aswhin has the most (32) wickets to his name. He also had a staggering 89 wickets against the Aussies which does make him the prime candidate to make this list. 
  2. Kohli – India needed Kohli to bounce back in form and he sure has hit the right strides since the start of the year. Back-to-back hundred in ODI cricket has seen the star Indian batter make headways in what is an important year for Indian cricket. Having faced the Aussies 19 times in red-ball cricket he is the go-to guy for India in the batting department. 
  3. Gill – Now this pick right here is a rather interesting one, Gill has burst onto the scene with his heavy punches and fireworks of cricket style in limited overs format. Having scored 3 centuries and a double hundred so far Gill has to be the player of the year so far for India. In absence of S.Iyer perhaps this is the right time to pave the way for Gill to make continue his good run of form. He notably has 259 runs against Australia in Test cricket so he is a natural when it comes to rising to the occasion.