Once again, India are in the right shape for a big international series at home. As Virat Kohli said that the “hearts and minds of each player are on the Australia series” after the win agaisnt Bangladesh on Monday, India picked the same squad for the first two Tests against Australia. And it was predictable.
Like the domination by the team against Bangladesh, India will look to continue it against Australia, which is a better team than Bangladesh. India have now stretched their record to uneaten in 19 Tests so far. They have won a record six successive Test series.
The current Indian squad will continue to rely on Murali Vijay and Cheteshwar Pujara to provide them with a solid start against the pace attack of Mitchell Starc and Josh Hazlewood. A cause of slight worry will be KL Rahul who hasn’t had an exactly good run of form as he managed score of 2 and 10 in each of the innings of the Test match against Bangladesh. Against England too he failed to score big in a couple of matches but later notched up a blistering 199.
Virat Kohli and Ajinkya Rahane will remain the backbone of the batting line-up. Rahane’s return to form augurs well for the team. The spin twins of R Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja will be the one on whom skipper Kohli will bank upon to provide crucial breakthroughs.
What remains to be seen in whether Jayant Yadav gets a place in the side especially after Ishant Sharma’s impressive display against Bangladesh. Kuldeep Yadav is another dark horse in the team but for now his role seems limited to the bench.
The 1st Test will be held from February 23-27 at Pune while the 2nd Test will begin from March 4 at Bengaluru.
Virat Kohli (Captain), M Vijay, KL Rahul, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane, W Saha (wk), R Ashwin, R Jadeja, Ishant Sharma, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Umesh Yadav, Karun Nair, Jayant Yadav, Kuldeep Yadav, Abhinav Mukund and Hardik Pandya.