India vs Australia 2018-19: 3 Individual battles that might decide the Test series
The much-awaited Test series between India and Australia begins on December 6 in Adelaide. The series promises to be a mouth-watering contest between the two of the best Test-playing nations.
This will be India's last overseas Test series this year and probably their best chance to win as well, thanks to the absence of Steve Smith, David Warner, and Cameroon Bancroft.
While the Australian batting isn't what it once was, one thing is for certain. The Aussies can't be underestimated and that is largely due to their strong bowling line-up which is expected to become even more dangerous in home conditions. Usman Khawaja and Shaun Marsh are the players who provide strength to the batting line-up.
The player battles will also play a crucial role in deciding the fate of the series. And, the team which wins more of them, might be the favorites to win the series. Here are a few important battles:
#3 Ravichandran Ashwin vs Nathan Lyon
One of the main attractions of the series will be the battle between two of the best spinners- Ravichandran Ashwin and Nathan Lyon. Spinners have always enjoyed success in Australia, the best example being legendary spinner Shane Warne.
Lyon, on one hand, has an average of 33.74 whereas Ashwin has an average of 54.71 on flat Australia grounds. Ashwin is able to manage a wicket in every 96 balls while Lyon takes a wicket in every 67 balls. More importantly, Ashwin had totally failed to prove himself on India's 2014-15 tour of Australia. Whereas, Nathan Lyon had taken 12, 5, 2 and 4 wickets in the 4 Tests and was a consistent performer throughout the series.
Ashwin hasn't enjoyed a good success rate in Australia so far. However, the 32-year-old would expect a better show this time around. And whoever puts on a better show, will definitely play an important role in the team's victory.