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Most Likely Playing XI for India in the 1st Test against Australia

As the Indian cricket team gears up for their highly anticipated Test series against Australia, fans, and experts, speculate about who will cut the playing XI in the first Test match. The team management has a tough task ahead as they have to choose the best possible playing XI from a pool of talented players.

In this article, CricIndeed will take a closer look at the probable playing XI for Team India in the first Test match against Australia and examine the strengths and weaknesses of each player.

Rohit Sharma

Rohit Sharma is the skipper in the side and has consistently performed well in the longest format. He will open the innings in the first Test match and will be expected to provide a good start for the team. His recent exploits in the ODI series against Sri Lanka & the Kiwis will keep him in good shape.

Sharma’s back-foot play, clubbed with his performances in India, will surely be a boon for the Indian Cricket Team in BGT 2023. He needs to convert his starts to a big knock in the series opener to put the monkey off his back.

KL Rahul

KL Rahul was leading the squad till recently in Bangladesh and is under serious pressure from the likes of Shubman Gill, but he should hold his place for the series opener. Looking at his overall record, he has established himself as a reliable opener for the Indian cricket team.

Rahul’s return against the Lankan side in the ODI series is a positive sign, and if he can continue to build a longer innings of note in this first Test, it will auger well for the future for both him & the team.

Cheteshwar Pujara

Cheteshwar Pujara is one of the most experienced players on the team and a vital part of the middle order. He is known for his ability to score big runs and exhibit his solid technique in tough batting conditions.

Another vital role Pujara plays is binding this batting lineup, having aggressors like Virat, Rohit & Iyer around him. His most recent performance against Bangladesh and his scores in the county circuit will keep him in great stead going forward.

Virat Kohli

Virat King Kohli is one of the best batsmen in the world of this era across formats, and there is no one doubting this selection’s merit. He is known for his aggressive play style, ability to lead this batting unit from the front, and ability to score runs in high-pressure situations. He is likely to bat at number four and will be expected to guide the team to lend a knockout punch to the Aussies.

Kohli has found a purple patch recently in the limited-overs assignments. However, his recent early innings dismissals could be a slight concern for the team, and he will be looking to put in a good performance in this series.

Read: How many centuries will Virat Kohli score before the end of his career?

Shreyas Iyer/ Suryakumar Yadav

If fit, Shreyas Iyer walks straight into the lineup for his sheer numbers in the last 18 months and, most recently, the 4th innings special in Dhaka against Bangladesh. He has found a way to score runs even with his discomfort against the short ball and will be a vital cog to keep the momentum in Pant’s absence. However, he is nursing an injury that could ring in some changes.

If Iyer is unfit, SKY will most likely fill in for him, which could be a masterstroke by the Dravid-Rohit combo. SKY has been in scintillating form in the shortest format and also expressed a desire to play the longest form by playing for Mumbai in the Ranji trophy this season!

KS Bharat

In all likelihood, KS Bharat will take the gloves in Rishabh Pant’s absence(due to a tragic road accident) as he is the first in line because he was the reserve keeper in the previous series. He is acclaimed to be a brilliant gloves man and a handy batsman.

If India looks to put in a surprise for the visiting Aussies, Ishan Kishan can be fast-tracked into the lineup. He is most likely the like-for-like replacement for Pant in the country, and his recent performance at the international level is mouth-watering.

Read: 3 Wicket Keepers who can replace Rishabh Pant in BGT Series

Ravichandran Ashwin

R Ashwin is an experienced wizard spinner and a key player for the team. He is known for his ability to lead this attack on his own, have important contributions with the bat down the order, and his ability to read the game is unparalleled.

His recent performance against Bangladesh with the ball was moderate by his standards, and he is expected to up his ante against one of his favorite opponents. No one can forget his jibe against Tim Paine to “Come soon to India” and his rivalry with Nathan Lyon for the No. 1 finger Spinner slot.

Ravindra Jadeja

This will be the most difficult decision for the team management but based on Jadeja’s amazing returns in India and against Australia, he could get the nod. Jadeja is also an important cog going into the 50-over world cup year.

If Jadeja is unfit/not picked, Axar Patel is the likeliest replacement. He is famous for taking wickets with his non-turners ? (same as Jaddu) and is improving by leaps & bounds with his batting and fielding. This is surely an amazing headache to have for the captain.

Kuldeep Yadav

Kuldeep Yadav is now one of the rarest talents in world cricket, a left-arm wrist spinner. He brings a unique skill set and variety to the team’s bowling attack. He has made a name for himself with his ability to take wickets and bowl in different conditions, but he has particularly excelled in the subcontinent, where he can use the turning pitches.

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His greatest strength as a bowler is his ability to deceive the batsman with variations, including the googly and the flipper. He is also known for his ability to maintain a good line and length, which makes it difficult for the batters to score runs. His recent form looks like a great prospect for the Border Gavaskar series at number 9.

Mohammad Shami

Shami’s ability to swing the ball both ways, coupled with his express pace, makes him a potent force in Indian conditions. He is particularly effective with the new ball, using his swing and seam movement with the skiddy bounce to trouble the opposition batters. He also can reverse swing the old ball, which makes him a valuable asset in the latter stages of the innings.

Shami will be looking to lead the fast bowling unit in Bumrah’s absence and will need all his experience against the potent Aussie threat.

Mohammad Siraj

Siraj (the new world no 3 ODI bowler) has been in red-hot form this summer. He will be eager to utilize this form against the opposition he started his journey (Down Under). Siraj’s greatest asset is his ability to extract steep bounce from the pitch, which is especially effective in Indian conditions where pitches tend to be relatively low and slow. He also has shown great potency bowling long spells, and his tussle against David Warner is a sure treat!

This was CricIndeed’s best assessment of India’s probable playing XI against the Aussies; we would love to know your reactions & opinions!

Also Read: Everything you need to know about Border Gavaskar Trophy

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