Australia vs India: Virat Kohli’s men face a stern test in Adelaide

The much-awaited test series between Australia and India is finally here as the first test match will begin on December 17 at Adelaide. It will be a day-night game, the first one for the Indian team outside subcontinent conditions. The Indian team will be playing their second day-night game after playing against Bangladesh in home conditions last year.

Adelaide has been a happy ground for the Indian team in the past, winning two games and earning three draws in the last 12 games. However, the day-night test match makes Australia as favourites as they have won all their day-night games in the home conditions. It is going to be a stern test for Kohli’s men against a lethal bowling attack. (Stats courtesy: ESPNFC)

The selection headache for the Indian team was that of an opening partner for Mayank Agarwal. The Indian team management has decided to stick with Prithvi Shaw as they released the complete lineup on December 16. The middle-order performed well against Australia in 2018 and the onus will be on Virat Kohli, Ajinkya Rahane, and Cheteshwar Pujara to score the bulk of runs.

Meanwhile, Australia also has a selection conundrum at the top of the order. David Warner and Will Pucovski have been ruled out for this game, while Joe Burns is going through a poor run of form. Tim Paine didn’t give a hint about his team during the pre-match press conference, so it could be an interesting team selection for the hosts.

Australia is much stronger this time after the return of Steve Smith to the squad and the emergence of Marnus Labuschagne has made them a formidable batting unit. The bowling unit of Nathan Lyon, Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazelwood, and Pat Cummins can run through any batting unit in the world. Tim Paine has also matured as a Test captain after the series defeat against India.

India is already without Ishant Sharma for this tour due to an injury. The lanky bowler was one of the best performers during the last tour. He is set to be replaced by Umesh Yadav in the lineup for the first game.

Moreover, Virat Kohli will be leaving the squad after BCCI granted him paternity leave. A loss in the first test match will make it difficult for them to come back in the series. The odds are stacked against India this time around, but they have players that have stepped up in pressure situations in the past. It is going to be an intense battle at Adelaide this week after two fierce rivals meet once again for test series after two years.

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