Date: 17th December 2020, at 9:30 AM IST
Venue: Adelaide Oval, Adelaide.
After witnessing the high stake white-ball cricket season between India and Australia, the two cricketing dignitaries get ready for the pink-ball challenge at Adelaide. Adelaide is all set to host the two teams for the first of the four-match Test match series. The Test at Adelaide is a day-night match with the pink-ball.
The Indians need to play exceptionally well and with maximum energy and skill to retain the Border-Gavaskar Trophy. The Australians, marked with their Test series defeat at home by Virat Kohli’s men, are eager to take the avenge. With the run machine and impeccable Steve Smith and the unstoppable David Warner back, the Aussies seem in full strength.
In contrast to 2018-19, when Australia grappled without Smith and Warner (banned after the Sandpaper Gate scandal) this time it is India that will be without its exciting batsman Virat Kohli for the last three Tests of the four-match series.
India comes into this series after an impressive T20I series win without support of their premier pacers Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammed Shami. Yet, the five-day format will be a different ball game altogether, especially with the first match being India’s second-ever pink-ball Test match. On the other side, Australia, who have a great record in pink-ball Tests, have a few apprehensions of their own, as David Warner and Will Pucovski are out due to injury.
With apprehensions at the top of their order, the Australians might not have the same striking effect on the Indians, at least on paper. But, their striving bowling attack steered by Pat Cummins could be key as the hosts look to strike the first blast in the series.
While both teams have batting despairs to supervise just before of this series, the two bowling attacks are supposed to dominate the limelight for most of the time in this Test. With some of the best and impeccable Test players from both sides taking to the field on Thursday, an enthralling contest at the Adelaide Oval could be on the cards.
A combative game of cricket signals at the Adelaide Oval, with the pink ball adding more interest to this contest. The ball could swing around from ball one, and the bowlers are supposed to seam around in the night as well. The batsmen are believed to see out the initial phase for the ball to soften up, after which run-scoring could get easy. Even so, the spinners could also have a say in the affairs, and their variations could be killing to pick under lights.
Both teams are supposed to choose to bat first after winning the toss, as the pitch is assumed to slow down as the match goes forward. It would make it hard to chase down targets in the last innings.
Virat Kohli (C), Cheteshwar Pujara, Prithvi Shaw, Mayank Agarwal, Ajinkya Rahane, Hanuma Vihari, Wriddhiman Saha, Ravi Ashwin, Jasprit Bumrah, Umesh Yadav, Mohammed Shami
Tim Paine (c & wk), Steven Smith, Joe Burns, Matthew Wade, Marnus Labuschagne, Travis Head, Cameron Green, Pat Cummins, Mitchell Starc, Nathan Lyon, Josh Hazlewood