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Australian Cricket: A look ahead to India Test series

Following a solid summer of Test cricket on home soil that resulted in victories over the West Indies and South Africa, Australia now head to India for a four-Test series.

2023 is a huge year for Australian Test cricket and could not get much tougher. After the India trip they have the Ashes series in England to look forward to.

With that in mind it is important to keep the good times rolling and a solid tour of India with some positive results is the order of the day.

It will be far from easy though as India are the hot fancies at 4/7 to win the Test series on home soil. Australia are currently ranked the number one Test team in the world right now with India second.

However home advantage is obviously a huge factor and the Aussies face a huge Test. The Baggy Greens have done everything that has been asked of them so far. The 2-0 series win over the West Indies was comfortable to say the least.

The second Test saw them win by a massive 419 runs. A tougher examination against South Africa followed but again they passed it with flying colours. They cruised to an unassailable 2-0 lead in the three-match series before the tourists showed some fight to draw the third Test in Sydney.

Now the focus turns to India so lets take a closer look at the series that will be played over the next five weeks.

What:India v Australia
Where:Maharashtra, Delhi, Dharamshala, Ahmedabad
When:February/March 2023
How to watch:Foxtel Go, Kayo Sports
Odds:India 4/7, Australia 10/3, Draw 4/1

Dates and Venues

The first Test will take place at the VCA Stadium in Maharashtra and is set to get underway on Thursday 9th February. The Aussies will then make their way to Delhi to play the second Test at the Arun Jaitley Stadium from 17th February to 21st February if the Test match goes the full five days.

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Then it is on to Dharamshala and the HPCA Stadium for the third Test that is due to begin on 1st March. The Test series will come to a conclusion in Ahmedabad at the Narendra Modi Stadium.

The fourth Test is due to run from 9th March to 13th March. There will then be a short break before the three One Day Internationals begin on 17th March.

What is at stake?

Plenty of course. Any Test series is of the highest importance and in this series the 2023 Border Gavaskar Trophy is up for grabs. If that is not enough, there is an added incentive for both sides in this one.

India know that they have to pick up a convincing series win if they are to reach the World Test Championship final in 2023. They need to win 3-0 at the very least.

Australia are top of the WTC rankings but are not guaranteed a place in the final just yet so still have some work to do. Throw in a heap of professional and national pride and the stakes could not be much higher.

Australian Squad

It goes without saying that Australia have a very strong squad heading into the series but they will need to be on top form to get the results. The Aussies have the best two batsmen in world cricket in their side.

Marnus Labuschagne is currently ranked number one in the world, with Steve Smith number two. Not only that, Travis Head is ranked number four so the quality is there. However dealing with the conditions in India will test them to the max. 

Australia also have the world number one bowler in the form of captain Pat Cummins. When it comes to all-rounders, Australia’s highest ranked player is Mitchell Starc in fifth.

Possible starting XI: Usman Khawaja, David Warner, Marnus Labuschagne, Steve Smith, Alex Carey (wk), Travis Head, Ashton Agar, Nathan Lyon, Pat Cummins (c), Josh Hazlewood, Scott Boland.

India Squad

India have been rocked by the news that star bowler Jasprit Bumrah, who is ranked third in the world, will miss the entire series following a car crash. Rishabh Pant is also injured but there is a chance he could be ready for the third Test.

India will have spin bowler Ravi Ashwin helping to lead the bowling attack along with pace bowler Mohammed Shami. Ashwin is currently ranked fourth in the world. India also have the number one all-rounder in the world right now, Ravindra Jadeja.

Possible starting XI: Rohit Sharma (c), Shubman Gill, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli, KL Rahul, KS Bharat (wk), Ravindra Jadeja, Ravichandran Ashwin, Mohammed Siraj, Umesh Yadav, Jaydev Unadkat.

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