When India and Australia play their first Test match in Nagpur, two crucial middle order hitters who are both skilled at handling challenging Indian surfaces with their distinct strategies will be absent from the lineup. Rishabh Pant and Shreyas Iyer are the top two run scorers for India in home Test matches since January 2021, respectively. But whereas Iyer is currently dealing with a back condition, Pant is healing from injuries received in a car accident.
India is considering its lineup for the first Test in their absence. KS Bharat and Ishan Kishan are the two available wicketkeepers for India (KL Rahul can also maintain wickets), however Iyer's non-availability leaves the hosts with two middle order batsmen who are comparatively inexperienced. Shubman Gill has never batted lower than No. 3 and has started at third base in all 15 of the innings he has played for India. The alternative is Suryakumar Yadav, who has yet to play in a Test.
On the eve of the game, India's captain Rohit Sharma acknowledged that the middle order position is still up in the air. Speaking of Gill and Surya, they undoubtedly provide us different perspectives. In the past three to four months, Gill has undoubtedly been at the top of his game, scoring many hundreds and significant hundreds as well. Surya, on the other hand, has demonstrated his abilities and the type of game he can bring to Test cricket by excelling in T20 cricket. So both are excellent choices for us. We still haven't determined what we should do about those two men. But we'll remember every element of the game.
"We occasionally have to follow what is appropriate for that certain Test match, that specific day, and whatever format it be. Five-day cricket matches called tests include constant change with each session and hour. You must therefore be ready to make some courageous decisions. Yes, Rishabh was a crucial player for us in the middle order, and we'll undoubtedly miss the way he batted for us in recent years. However, we have a few men who will come and complete the task for us.
"There are times when we have to adhere to the rules that apply to that particular Test match, that particular day, and whatever format it may be. Cricket matches lasting five days, known as tests, are constantly changing with each session and hour. Therefore, you must be prepared to take some bold actions. Yes, Rishabh was an essential member of our middle order, and his recent form at the plate will be missed. But we have a few men who will show up and finish the job for us.
With the bowling combination, especially in the spin department, India may also face some difficulties. With Ravindra Jadeja's return, India will have their primary spin tandem back in action under the leadership of R Ashwin. Axar Patel and Kuldeep Yadav will be vying for the position of third spinner. Axar's stellar performance in the home series against England will also be on the Indian think-minds, tank's and going in with all four spinners cannot be ruled out given their utility with the bat and the nature of the pitch. The presence of several left-handed batters in the Australian lineup may tip the scales in Kuldeep's favor.
"The four spinners are all top-notch. Jadeja and Ashwin have collaborated frequently and consistently. Speaking of Axar and Kuldeep, they have excelled whenever given the chance and have placed the batters under pressure. Axar took up 36 wickets in the most recent series we played against England in India; that's a lot of wickets, man. Additionally, Kuldeep only participated in one Test match in Bangladesh but also picked up five wickets there. The fact that all four of them are available to us is fantastic and offers us further comfort "Rohit added.
"Not to mention, three of them are excellent all-around players. Kuldeep can also bat; if you watched the Test match in Bangladesh, he scored around 40 important runs for us. Therefore, having guys like those who can perform a variety of tasks on the field provides us fantastic alternatives and depth as well. Therefore, I believe having access to all four of them is a good sign "Added he.
The Vidarbha Cricket Association Stadium's surface and the way it is being prepped have dominated the lead-up to the series opener. However, Rohit insisted that the attention should be on the two top-notch teams that will play and refused to get involved in any discussion over the wicket.
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Four spinners are listed as Indias net bowlers, including Washington and Sai Kishore