India and Australia are set to face off in the first test of the Border Gavaskar Trophy on February 9th, 2023.
The test will take place in the Vidarbha Cricket Association Stadium in Nagpur.
The series includes four tests and three One Day Internationals (ODI).
In 2020-21, India won the test series against Australia 2-1 and retained the Border Gavaskar Trophy. This marked a historic moment for the Indian team as they broke their losing streak on Australian soil.
Playing their first Test of the year, team India are in a critical position on their way to the WTC Finals. India would need to defeat Australia by 2-0, 3-0, 3-1 or 4-0 to make it to the finals.
Steve Smith, the former Australian captain, has stated that the Indian curators provided green pitches for the practice sessions during the last visit, which are useless as the tests were played on rank turners.
In preparation for the series, the Australian team has been facing spin bowling at the Sydney Cricket Ground.
They will be looking to seek revenge against India after their loss in the previous Border Gavaskar Trophy.
Both teams have reported injury issues ahead of the first test.
India will miss Shreyas Iyer, Rishabh Pant, and Jasprit Bumrah, while Australia will play without Josh Hazlewood and Mitchell Starc.
Australia is expected to debut Scott Boland, who has performed well in recent tests.
Pant and Iyer were amongst India’s top two run scorers in Tests in 2022 but will be unavailable.
Cheteshwar Pujara was the top run-getter in 2022 with 409 runs in 10 innings with a century and 3 half-centuries to his name.
The batting will rely on Rohit Sharma, KL Rahul, Virat Kohli, Pujara and possibly Shubman Gill in the top and middle order.
Suryakumar Yadavmight have to bide his time though former coach Ravi Shastri has pitched for his inclusion.
The team will also be without Jasprit Bumrah, their top wicket-taker in Tests in 2022. Ravichandran Ashwin will lead the spin department with Kuldeep Yadav and possibly Ravindra Jadeja or Axar Patel.
Australia on the other hand are coming in with full strength for the Border-Gavaskar Trophy, which they have lost in the last three instances.
Opener Usman Khawaja was the top run-getter for Australia in Tests in 2022, scoring 1,080 runs in 20 innings with 4 centuries and 5 half-centuries.
Marnus Labuschagne (957 runs) and Steve Smith (957) are also in excellent touch while David Warner would look to step up and gain form.
Travis Head, Alex Carey and Cameron Green will comprise the rest of the batting lineup.
Nathan Lyon was the top wicket-taker for Australia in 2022, registering 47 wickets in 19 innings. Mitchell Swepson, Todd Murphy, and Ashton Agar will help Lyon in the spin department.
The Aussie pace attack, led by Pat Cummins, looks dangerous with Scott Boland and Lance Morris. Cameron Green might not contribute with his medium-pace bowling due to his injury.
The Vidarbha Cricket Association Stadium in Nagpur will benefit pacers early on in the innings, but will also aid spinners throughout the game. Batting will be easier after getting set.
IND vs AUS Head-to-Head:
Total – 102
India – 30
Australia – 43
Draw – 28
Tie – 1
IND vs AUS 1st Test: Match Details
Date – Thursday, February 09, 2023
Time – 09:30 AM IST
Venue – Vidarbha Cricket Association Stadium, Nagpur
Playing XI for India:
KL Rahul, Rohit Sharma, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli, Shubman Gill/Suryakumar Yadav, KS Bharat, Ravindra Jadeja, Ravichandran Ashwin, Mohammad Shami, Kuldeep Yadav, and Mohammad Siraj.
Playing XI for Australia:
David Warner, Usman Khawaja, Marnus Labuschagne, Steve Smith, Alex Carey, Cameron Green, Travis Head, Ashton Agar, Nathan Lyon, Pat Cummins, and Scott Boland.