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IND vs AUS, 1st Test – Fantasy Preview and Top Picks

Match: India vs Australia, (IND vs AUS, 1st Test)

Date: February 9-13, 2023 – 9:30 AM IST

Venue: Vidarbha Cricket Association Stadium, Jamtha, Nagpur

The much anticipated Test series between India and Australia is all set to begin from February 9th. Arguably the two best teams in the world will compete in four Tests for the prestigious Border Gavaskar Trophy. The first Test is scheduled to be played at Vidarbha Cricket Association Stadium in Nagpur from Thursday.

India hold the trophy, having won it on all three previous occasions. The last time these two teams met in the longer format, India created history beating Australia at the Gabba to clinch the series by 2-1.

The series holds huge significance for another reason – the World Test Championship. Pat Cummins’ Australia occupy the top spot with a points win percentage of 75.56 while India are second with 58.93% points. India need to win the series as that will seal their spot in the final for the second successive time. 

Australia clean swept West Indies in December last year by 2-0 before beating South Africa by 2-0 in a three-match series. India last played Bangladesh away from home, where they claimed both the Tests.

The last time Australia toured India was in 2016-17, they managed to win one Test but lost the series by 2-1. They’d be looking to go one step further this time around, especially with an ageing Indian side.

Pitch Report and Weather Forecast for IND vs AUS, 1st Test, BBL 2022

The VCA stadium in Nagpur has traditionally assisted spinners like most venues in the country. The first three days are pretty good for batting with the average first and second innings scored reading 345 and 418, respectively. The average score for the third and fourth innings expectedly goes down to 261 and 209.

As for the weather, Nagpur should be sunny and warm on all five days with the temperature likely to be around early to mid 30 degrees. There’s no threat of rain on any of the matchdays.   

India – Expected XI and Team News

India are without the services of Jasprit Bumrah and Rishabh Pant. With Shreyas Iyer out of the first Test, Shubman Gill and Suryakumar Yadav will be vying for one spot. Srikar Bharat and Ishan Kishan are competing for the wicket-keeper’s role. India will play three spinners in Axar Patel, Ravindra Jadeja and R Ashwin.

Probable XI – KL Rahul, Rohit Sharma (c), Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli, Suryakumar Yadav/Shubman Gill, Srikar Bharat/Ishan Kishan (wk), Ravindra Jadeja, Axar Patel, Ravichandran Ashwin, Umesh Yadav, Mohammed Shami

Australia – Expected XI and Team News

Australia have also suffered a few injury blows with Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazlewood and Cameron Green out of the first Test. Scott Boland is expected to feature in this game alongside Pat Cummins, Nathan Lyon and Mitchell Swepson. Peter Handscomb is likely to take Green’s place considering they already have four lefties in the top seven.

Probable XI – David Warner, Usman Khawaja, Marnus Labuschagne, Steven Smith, Travis Head, Peter Handscomb, Alex Carey (wk), Pat Cummins (c), Nathan Lyon, Mitchell Swepson, Scott Boland

Head to head record of IND vs AUS

Total Encounters – 102

India Won – 30

Australia Won – 43

Tie – 1

No Result – 28

India lead the last 10 encounters by 5-2. 

Best Captaincy Picks for the IND vs AUS match

Ravichandran Ashwin: All-rounder, India

There isn’t a more valuable player in subcontinent conditions than Ravichandran Ashwin. The off-spinner has a stellar record in Test cricket, with 449 wickets at an average of 24.39. He has taken 30 five-wicket hauls in the format. Ashwin has over 3000 runs at 27.41 average with five hundreds.

Ravindra Jadeja: All-rounder, India

Ravindra Jadeja has proven his fitness with a seven-wicket haul in the Ranji trophy recently. The left arm spinner has 242 wickets in 60 Tests at an average of 24.71 with 10 five-fors. With the bat, he has 2523 runs at 36.56 average, including three centuries.

Steve Smith: Batter, Australia

One of the greatest Test batters of all time, Steve Smith has a pretty good record in the subcontinent as well. He has scored 1577 runs in Asia at an average of 51 with five hundreds. Overall, Smith averages nearly 61 in Test cricket with over 8647 runs to his name.

Top Differential Picks

Axar Patel: All-rounder, India

Axar Patel has an outstanding record in Test cricket, having played only a handful of Tests. He has taken 47 scalps in just eight matches at 14.29 average with five five-wicket hauls. Picked by less than 20% of fantasy teams, Axar can be a great differential.  

Pat Cummins: Bowler, Australia

Pat Cummins will rely on new ball movement and the reverse swing later on. Being the attack leader, he’s a good pick. The right arm seamer has snared 214 wickets from 47 Tests at an average of 21.25 with eight five-fors. He’s picked by 45% of MPL teams.

MPL Fantasy XI

Where and what time to watch the match live in India

Star Sports Network reserve the rights to broadcast the series between India and Australia. Watch the first Test from 9:30 AM onwards on matchdays. You can also catch the action live on online streaming platform Disney+ Hotstar. 

Note: The players recommended here need not be a part of the Playing 11 on game day. Users are advised to do their own research also and follow official sources and create their teams.


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