As Adelaide prepares for India’s first-ever absent day-night Test, both Australia and the visitors are faced with questions approximately who would play. India’s problems appear to have more to do with who would be the best fit, while Australia are simply focussed on who will be fit first of all. India’s focus is in large part on the opening slots, trying to figure who will be batting at N0. 1 and 2, with the remainder of the squad mostly becoming itself in. Australia, alternatively, are having to find replacements and stand-byes galore as D-Day approaches.
Check out Australia. Will Pucovski, the next great hope of Australian batting, used to be laid low by India’s net bowler Kartik Tyagi, while Cameron Green – another new hopeful – used to be at the receiving end of a shot from, of the entire batsmen, Jasprit Bumrah.
So as things stand, Pucovski is out, and Green is dubious, so Marcus Harris and Moises Henriques were called up as replacement and stand-by respectively.
Then Australia missing Sean Abbott, thanks to a minor calf strain which will retain him out of the first Test.
David Warner went out of action after a generally extravagant fielding attempt right through the limited-overs series.
And as whether that wasn’t enough, Steve Smith used to be said to be limping a bit, though he used to be later reported to be back at the nets.
Not rather the easiest plan for skipper Tim Paine and coach Justin Langer ahead of the opening Test of the series.
On the plus side, Mitchell Starc is back and that in itself perhaps puts the chips up for the hosts, since without reference to how many runs are scored, it takes 20 wickets to win a Test.
India aren’t too worried on that front. Their bowling used to be rather something in the first inning against Australia A, with Mohammed Shami and Bumrah being automatic choices and Umesh Yadav too got called up as the Board of Keep watch over for Cricket in India declared the playing XI on Wednesday, on an Adelaide track which may help seam-up.
Ravichandran Ashwin got in as India’s only specialist spinner.
As for the wicketkeeper, Wriddhiman Saha got the nod ahead of Rishabh Pant, since the entire indications ahead of the team selection were on the contrary.
As for the middle-order, Cheteshwar Pujara, Kohli, Ajinkya Rahane and Hanuma Vihari were in. KL Rahul sits this one out.
Which leaves us with the an important question. Who opens?
That too used to be answered as the selectors made up our minds on Mayank Agarwal and Prithvi Shaw, also the latter can safely be called an optimistic choice, since Shubman Gill looked all set for a debut.
Gill perhaps has the most compact straight-bat mastery some of the newcomers and is a country mile ahead of Prithvi Shaw as a batsman.
That then, is how things will have to pan out for India in the only Test Kohli will play in the series.
How this selection manages to deal with the pink cricket ball in alien conditions is another question to ponder and perhaps would be the biggest question for the team, fairly than the actual team allocation.
That question will be up for answer when the hostilities begin Thursday.
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