Australia vs India Test Series: 3 important factors which could determine India's fate
The Indian cricket team will be playing against Australia in a four-match Test series (Border Gavaskar Trophy) starting from 6th December 2018. The schedule for the Test series is as follows:
1st Test: 6th December - 10th December 2018; Venue: Adelaide Oval
2nd Test: 14th December - 18th December 2018; Venue: Perth
3rd Test: 26th December - 30th December 2018; Venue: Melbourne
4th Test: 3rd January - 7th January 2019; Venue: Sydney
The Virat Kohli-led Indian team will be looking to defend the Border Gavaskar Trophy, which they won after beating the Aussies by a 2-1 margin in 2016-17.
The 18-member Indian Test team announced for this tour is as follows:
Virat Kohli (C), Ajinkya Rahane (vc), M Vijay, KL Rahul, Prithvi Shaw, Cheteshwar Pujara, Rohit Sharma, Rishabh Pant (wk), Parthiv Patel (wk), Ravichandran Ashwin, Ravi Jadeja, Kuldeep Yadav, Hanuma Vihari, Mohammed Shami, Jasprit Bumrah, Ishant Sharma, Umesh Yadav and Bhuvneshwar Kumar.
India's record in Test matches in Australia in the past has been very poor. They have not managed to win any Border Gavaskar Test series Down Under; in fact, they have won only two Tests in Australia in the last 20 years.
Except for the 2003-04 tour under the captaincy of Sourav Ganguly, when India drew the series 1-1, the Aussies have beaten India in all the other Border Gavaskar Trophy series held in Australia.
This time round however, the hosts will be fielding one of their weakest sides in recent times. With the absence of Steve Smith and David Warner due to a ban, the Aussies look quite an ordinary side on paper, especially when compared with the Indians.
Many former cricketers and experts feel that this is the best chance for India to win a Test series in Australia. That said, the Indians will have to put up a much better show than what they did in England if they want to fulfill their dream of winning a Test series in Australia.
Here, we look at the three most important factors that will most probably determine India's fate in the series.
#1: How the openers Prithvi Shaw, Murali Vijay and KL Rahul perform
India will be going into the series with three specialist Test openers, viz Prithvi Shaw, KL Rahul and Murali Vijay. The teenage sensation Shaw had a remarkable debut Test series against West Indies at home, and the team management would hope that he can replicate his form in Australia too.
For the second opener's slot, there will tough competition between KL Rahul and veteran Murali Vijay, who is making a comeback. Although Rahul has been very inconsistent of late, he is a match winner on his day.
For India have to do well in the series, the openers need to perform consistently. If the openers can see off the new ball, then it will become much easier for the other batsmen coming down the order.