Published: Thu, December 06, 2018
Sport | By Patty Hardy

Mitch Marsh Has Been Dropped For The First Test

Mitch Marsh Has Been Dropped For The First Test

Australia were plunged in crisis after the ball-tampering scandal in March this year saw Cricket Australia handing out year-long bans on Steve Smith and David Warner.

Australian captain Tim Paine.

The first Test between India and Australia will begin from Thursday, December 6, 2018.

"Just like the great Australian cricket team of 2001 felt and we just fell short (of winning in India) and we were able to (win in) 2004", Langer told Australian radio channel SEN's Whateley.

Langer said he was wary of an Indian side led by the incomparable Virat Kohli, that is aiming to win their first Test series ever in Australia.

"There has been so much talk, it's time for action".

It is also surprising that India has opted for just one spinner and that is the experienced Ravichandran Ashwin and they have not gone for the wrist spinner in Kuldeep Yadav.

The last time these two teams met, India won an engrossing series 2-1 at home, with Smith hitting three centuries.

Either way, Paine acknowledged that arguably the key "chess match" of the series when Australia were in the field would involve India's efforts to attack Lyon in order to force him to bring his fast men back earlier than intended. As per the ICC rules, both the host nation and the visiting nation have to give approval for a day-night Test to be played at any venue. And if that meant some verbal banter, then so be it.

Batsmen Travis Head and Peter Handscomb were preferred to Marsh, piling more pressure on the bowlers, while Marcus Harris will make his debut as opener.

The previous series between the two rivals have been heated, with the combative Kohli usually front and centre. However, ahead of the third and final - a stern Test against Australia in Australia, the Asian giants are being tipped as favourites.

India would go with the opening pair of Murali Vijay and KL Rahul with Cheteshwar Pujara at three, followed by Virat Kohli and Ajinkya Rahane.

And they have an experienced set of bowlers in Ishant Sharma, Mohammad Shami, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Umesh Yadav and Jasprit Bumrah.

"We have options there but we'll be backing our bowlers", Paine said.

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