Australia take on India in the first Test of the much anticipated Border-Gavaskar Trophy at the Adelaide Oval starting Thursday. The match will be a Day-Night encounter played with the pink ball. This will be just the second time India is playing a pink-ball Test.
Both teams head into the Tests level on wins from the limited-overs' series. While Australia took the ODI series 2-1, India won the T20I series 2-1. The visitors also played a three-day pink-ball practice match against the Australia A side, which ended in a draw.
Marcus Harris has been added to the Australian squad and is likely to open the batting for Australia, while the likes of KL Rahul and Shubman Gill are set to provide cover for India when Kohli leaves.
This is likely to be a highly contested game that should go down to the last session of the match, and should be a treat to watch for cricketing fans from all over the world.
Date: December 17- 21, 2020 (Thursday- Monday)
Time: 09:30 AM (IST), 04:00 AM (GMT), 02:30 PM (Local)
Venue: Adelaide Oval, Adelaide
The weather should remain pleasant on all five days of the match, with an average temperature of 23 degrees Celsius. No rain is expected on any day of the match.
The wicket at Adelaide should be good for batsmen, while the pacers will have to capitalize on the new ball overs as there isn't likely to be much movement off of the pitch. The spinners should come into play later on in the game, mostly on days four and five.
Marcus Harris and Joe Burns should open the batting for the Aussies in Warner and Puckovski's absence. Marnus Labuschagne and Steve Smith are likely to follow. Travis Head, Matthew Wade, and skipper Tim Paine should form the middle order.
Australia's usual pace trio of Mitchell Starc, Pat Cummins, and Josh Hazlewood should also feature in the XI, with Nathan Lyon the lone front-line spinner.
Predicted XI: Marcus Harris, Joe Burns, Steve Smith, Marnus Labuschagne, Travis Head, Matthew Wade, Tim Paine(C/WK), Nathan Lyon, Mitchell Starc, Pat Cummins, and Josh Hazlewood
The impressive Hanuma Vihari is likely to slot in at No. 6. The debate between choosing Wriddhiman Saha or Rishabh Pant as the wicket-keeper batsman has been going for a long time, but the latter's dashing hundred swings it in his favor.
Mohammed Shami, Umesh Yadav, and Jasprit Bumrah should form the side's pace attack, while Ravichandran Ashwin could edge Ravindra Jadeja out as the lone spinner.
Predicted XI: Shubman Gill/ Prithvi Shaw, Mayank Agarwal, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli (C), Ajinkya Rahane, Hanuma Vihari, Rishabh Pant(WK), Ravichandran Ashwin, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Shami, and Umesh Yadav.
While Australia seems to have the edge over India given the home conditions and experience of playing in pink-ball Tests, injuries to some key players do work against them.
Considering the fact that India looked in good touch in the practice game, this contest could turn out to be a draw.
Prediction: Match drawn.
TV and live streaming details
TV: Sony Sports Network
Live Streaming: Sony Liv