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Australia vs India 2018-19: 5 players to watch out for

Anuj Mishra
CONTRIBUTOR
Top 5 / Top 10
457   //    05 Dec 2018, 18:03 IST

Virat Kohli (L) and Jasprit Bumrah
Virat Kohli (L) and Jasprit Bumrah

Unlike India, Australia have announced the playing XI for the first Test which will begin at the Adelaide Oval on Thursday. The hosts sprang a surprise by axing all rounder Mitchell Marsh on Wednesday for the first Test against India, upon Usman Khawaja's return to the national fold.

Meanwhile, India's Hanuma Vihari and Rohit Sharma are expected to compete for the one spot in the middle order. Considering Vihari's exploits with the bat in Engalnd, he is likely to get the nod ahead of the Mumbai batsman.

While playing XI is pretty obvious, let’s take a look at the five players to keep an eye upon.

5. Nathan Lyon

Since the retirement of Australia’s spin wizard Shane Warne in 2007, the team has been struggling with the lack of a star spinner who can match the stature of Warne. The likes of Nathan Hauritz and Jason Krejza showed promise by taking five-wicket hauls versus India, but they couldn't sustain the rigours of the long run despite their blazing starts.

But in recent times Nathan Lyon has become a consistent asset for the Australian team. His 23-wicket haul in four Tests against India in 2014 shows his potential to do well even against a strong batting line-up, especially against a team who are traditionally good players of spin.

Lyon will be licking his lips to bowl against India at home again.

4. Jasprit Bumrah

Bowling on the fast-paced Australian pitches would be like a dream come true for Jasprit Bumrah. Although he hasn’t played much red-ball cricket, he has shown his potential as a wicket-taking bowler in England, where the conditions were also conducive to pace bowling.

Bumrah has claimed 28 wickets in six Tests at an average of 25.57. With the shining red ball in the scorching heat, Bumrah can use his unorthodox run-up to generate serious pace. And the different angles created by the 24-year-old bowler is something no batsman would want to face, especially on the bouncy Aussie wickets.

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Anuj Mishra
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