“India is incredible, Rishabh Pant is the star. India won the test, they won the series, and they won the hearts and minds of Cricket fans all around the world.”
Being a Cricket fan, these lines still give me goosebumps even after 2 years of India making history. Australia has a chance to repeat the same by defeating India at their home in the upcoming Border Gavaskar Trophy 2023.
Both teams have changed a bit too since the last BGT in 2020/21. Virat stepped down as Test captain while Ajinkya Rahane (captain in the last three tests) is dropped from the Test side due to his poor form. Australia also got a new Test captain in the form of Pat Cummins, with Alex Carey as their new Wicket Keeper. Indian star Rishabh Pant will also be missed and this might have a major impact on the series’ results.
Date and Time: 09 February, Thursday, 9:30 AM IST
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India hasn’t lost a single home test series since England’s tour of India in 2012. Even in the last 10 years, India lost just 2 matches at home with one being against Australia at Pune in 2017.
There are some points of concern for the home team too. India would miss the services of their wicket-keeper batsman Rishabh Pant and also their star middle-order player Shreyas Iyer in the initial matches of the series. Ravindra Jadeja would play international cricket after a long break and India’s middle order is also not in its best form.
India needs to win at least 3 tests to qualify for the WTC finals if they want to be independent of the results of other test series.
The Australian team is also in prime form. They are favourites for playing in the WTC finals and have lost just 1 (BGT 2020/21) out of the last 10 Test series. In the current WTC cycle also, Australia has lost just one match.
Australia’s batting order is in top form and their 3 batsmen (Labuschagne, Smith, Head) are in the top 4 of ICC Men’s Test Batting Rankings. But like the Indian team, there are injury concerns in the Australian side too. Josh Hazelwood and Mitchell are out from the series opener with Cameron Green also being doubtful to play 1st test.
Pitch Report/Venue Report
The pitch at VCA is different from most other Indian pitches. It is one of the very few grounds that provide a good amount of pace and movement to the pacers. One of the reasons related to this is that the pitch is covered by a double brick layer which assists in providing extra pace and bounce.
The batters also get good help here especially during early overs when run-scoring is quite easy. But as soon as the wicket gets heated, the spinners start showing their dominance and the pacers have been found effective during the end overs.
Total Matches Played-6
Matches Won Batting First-3
Matches Won Batting Second-2
Out of the 6 tests played here, 3 are won by Innings difference (2 by India and 1 by South Africa). South Africa won that match batting 1st (enforced follow-on on India).
The numbers imply that the surface here doesn’t change drastically for the teams batting in 1st and 2 innings (324 and 361 average innings score respectively).
But the pitch starts deteriorating from the 3rd innings (average score 247). There are only 2 instances of a team batting in 4th innings here (average score 197).
Probable Playing XI
India: Rohit Sharma (C), KL Rahul, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli, Shubman Gill, KS Bharat (WK), Ravindra Jadeja, Ravichandran Ashwin, Axar Patel, Umesh Yadav, Mohammed Shami/Mohammed Siraj
Australia: David Warner, Usman Khawaja, Marnus Labuschagne, Steven Smith, Travis Head, Cameron Green, Alex Carey (WK), Pat Cummins, Nathan Lyon, Todd Murphy/Mitchell Swepson, Scott Boland
Head-to-Head And Recent Matches
Head-to-Head in India
Australia has managed to win just 1 out of the last 5 BGTs and their last test series win in India was in 2004. In the latest 20 BGT tests, India won 10, Australia emerged victorious in 5 with the other 5 tests being drawn.
Last 5 Test Matches Record
India: W W L W W (4/1)
Australia: D W W W W (4/0)
Players to Watch Out For
We can get an idea of the impact/fear of Ashwin in Australians as they have specially hired Ashwin’s impersonator Mahesh Pithiya to counter the Ashwin threat.
Ashwin’s records speak of the legacy he has created in Test Cricket. He is the second fastest to 400 test wickets and is one of the best bowlers to get the advantage of home conditions. He has 312 wickets in 51 home tests (6+ wickets/match). Ashwin in India is also a handy batsman with 8 50s and 3 centuries.
Ashwin in India: Innings-99 Wickets-312 Bowling Average-21.16 Bowling Strike Rate-47.1 5w-24 10w-6
Australia’s 4 of their top 7 batsmen are left-handers and Ashwin has proven to be a nightmare for left-handers to date. He has dismissed 225 left-handers (only bowler to dismiss 200 lefties) at an average of just 19.2 striking at every 47th delivery.
His first breakthrough series was also BGT 2013 where he dismissed 29 batsmen across 4 tests averaging just 20.10. He received Man of the series for this performance. Ashwin with his partners (Jadeja, Axar, Kuldeep) would be eyeing one more whitewash at their home.
Smith is the best test batsman of the current era and is one of the best of all time when playing against India. He has scored 8 centuries in 14 tests he played against India averaging more than 72.
In India, Smith has managed to score 660 runs in 6 tests averaging 60 with 3 centuries. His 109 at Pune in 2017 BGT is rated as one of the best knocks of the last decade in test cricket (India was dismissed on less than 109 in both Innings).
Smith has regained his form in the last 12 months after a lean patch (according to his standards) for 2 years after Ashes 2019. In the last 12 months, he has averaged 70+ with 3 centuries to his name.
Smith is one of the best batsmen while playing Ashwin. Ravichandran has dismissed him 6 times, but Smith has been able to score 412 runs against him averaging near 70. So, Smith would be the most important batsman in the Australian line-up against India’s spin trio.
- Rohit Sharma vs Pat Cummins: R-56 B-90 O-2 A-28
- Virat Kohli vs Pat Cummins: R-82 B-247 O-5 A-16.4
- Shubman Gill vs Pat Cummins: R-59 B-130 O-3 A-19.7
- Cheteshwar Pujara vs Pat Cummins: R-172 B-600 O-7 A-24.6
- Rohit Sharma vs Nathan Lyon: R-135 B-258 O-6 A-22.5
- Virat Kohli vs Nathan Lyon: R-410 B-782 O-7 A-58.6
- Cheteshwar Pujara vs Nathan Lyon: R-521 B-1158 O-10 A-52.1
- Steven Smith vs Ravichandran Ashwin: R -412 B-694 O-6 A-68.7
- Steven Smith vs Umesh Yadav: R-263 B-390 O-4 A-65.8
- Smith Smith vs Mohammed Shami: R-113 B-157 O-1 A-113
- David Warner vs Ravichandran Ashwin: R-182 B-385 O-10 A-18.2
- David Warner vs Ravindra Jadeja: R-59 B-89 O-4 A-14.8
- David Warner vs Mohammed Shami: R-72 B-76 O-0 A-( – )
- David Warner vs Umesh Yadav: R-180 B-159 O-6 A-30
- David Warner vs Mohammed Siraj: R -31 B-47 O-2 A-15.5
- Marnus Labuschagne vs Ravichandran Ashwin: R-99 B-184 O-2 A-49.5
IND vs AUS Fantasy Team for 1st Test
Note: This is the best team based on the current scenario. The final team will be posted on our telegram channel “Clan For Gamers“ after the toss.
It would be the best chance for Australia to win a test match in this series. But in the end, India might emerge victorious.
Rohit Sharma and Steven Smith might be the top run scorers for their respective teams.
Ravichandran Ashwin would take at least 5 wickets and score an agreement of 50 runs in the match.