Australia vs India: What the pundits are predicting for the Test series

Grant SmithDec 06, 2018

Australian captain Tim Paine.

With a scorching 39 degrees Celsius forecast for Adelaide on Thursday, Paine said Australia would be inclined to bat first if he won the toss against counterpart Virat Kohli.

Tim Paine announced that Handscomb would bat at number five in the series opener beginning on Thursday, with Marsh to miss out. However, he must get his other batters to perform if he is to grab the crowning glory of India's first Test series victory in Australia.

"There has been so much talk, it's time for action. We have confidence in them, particularly at the start of the series". Without them, India could have a golden opportunity to break their series drought. Historically, in 70 years and spread over 11 tours, India have best of two drawn series, under Sunil Gavaskar in 1980-81 and Sourav Ganguly in 2003-04 which is reflection of Indian sides' temperament rather than quality.

In the wake of the tampering scandal, Australia vowed to overhaul their infamous win-at-all-costs attitude, tone down the sledging and be more respectful.

"I personally don't think any Australian side is vulnerable at home", Kohli said.

"It's just about picking your time and picking your moment and doing what the team requires", he said.

The coach also said that young Marcus Harris will make his debut and he will open the innings along with Aaron Finch.

A question mark remains over whether Peter Handscomb or Travis Head will fill the vacant middle-order spot.

The two cricketers were on their way from a practice season at the Adelaide Oval to the team hotel, which is situated close to the iconic venue which will be hosting the first Test from December 6.

Gaining the respect of his country is as big a priority as taming India for Australian skipper Tim Paine, who Wednesday said that winning matches and winning hearts are not mutually exclusive tasks for him.

But veteran opener Murali Vijay, who was dropped following a pair in the second Test against England this year, rose to the challenge with a century in the same match and is expected to face the new ball with KL Rahul. With the allrounder missing, India would have to take a call on whether to play specialist batsman in Rohit Sharma or allrounder Hanuma Vihari.

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