Australia vs India: First Test Preview

Cricket ball sits on pitch

Jonhenry Wilson previews the Adelaide Test between Australia and India set to take place between 6 and 10 December. 

The Board of Control for Cricket in India declined Cricket Australia's request to play the first Test of the series under lights at the Adelaide Oval.

India didn't fancy putting their best chance of a series win in Australia in jeopardy, but might still find Australia a tougher prospect than many have predicted.

Australia vs India | 6 December - 10 December | Adelaide Oval, Adelaide 

To Win Match
Australia 27/20
Tie  7/2
India 27/20

Much for Australia will depend on their ability to eradicate the batting collapses that have plagued their cricket across all formats of the game. Australia have understandably struggled to replace banned duo David Warner and Steve Smith, who are one-of-a-kind talents.

For this series, Marcus Harris has been drafted in for his first crack at the ultimate format of the game alongside middle-order men Peter Handscomb and Travis Head, who both owe their presence in the team at least in part to Warner and Smith. In this team, Usman Kahwaja and Shaun Marsh will act as the senior batsmen.

Australia fans will hope that the experiment of batting Mitchell Marsh at number four in Test cricket is a thing of the past and more serious candidates are given a platform to impress.

The quick bowlers could be the fellows who keep Australia in this series, but India would do well not to underestimate off-spinner Nathan Lyon, who is perhaps the best spinner in the world on Aussie tracks.

India's top-order ability to deal with pace and bounce from the Australia quicks will be key to the team competing in this series. India's quicks have shown they are as good as any in the world, but their batsmen, barring Virat Kohli, let them down in South Africa and England earlier this year.

The loss of young opener Prithvi Shaw ahead of the first Test to injury was a blow to India's plans to put the pressure back on the home side with positive intent from the get-go. India's options to replace the batsman are Murali Vijay and Rohit Sharma, who both earned recalls for this tour. Vijay has the better record in Test cricket of late, but Sharma enjoys the bouncy tracks of Australia and could perform a similar role to Shaw.

The lack of a seam-bowling all-rounder due to the injury to Hardik Pandya leaves India to rely on spinners Ravindra Jadeja and Ravichandran Ashwin to fill the all-rounder slot in the team.

India's selectors face a tough choice in nailing down their pace attack, with presumably three or four slots available for Jasprit Bumrah, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Mohammed Shami, Ishant Sharma and Umesh Yadav to fill. Each of their quicks have shown an ability to win matches, but they cannot play all five.

Verdict: Australia 27/20
India have been slow starters on their tours to South Africa and England and that trend is expected to continue in Australia.

Written by Jonhenry Wilson for Hollywoodbets

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