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INDvAUS: 1st Test, Pune, Australia win the toss & elect to bat first

By Sahil Mehan -

INDvAUS: 1st Test  Maharashtra Cricket Association Stadium, Pune

A little more than twelve years ago, Australian Team under Adam Gilchrist & Ricky Ponting toured India, and were successful in beating India. Now, under a young and completely different skipper, the Steve Smith-led side Australian side arrives in India hoping to turn their luck around after losing an away series to Sri Lanka and home series to South Africa not too long ago. Australia's confidence will be tattered since many youngsters are not aware of the spinning conditions, while Team India under Virat so far has been completely invincible at home and will be riding high on confidence. Australians will be hoping to put behind a run of inconsistent performances and put together an effort that would completely surprise cricket pundits around the world. However, India would like to keep their invincible record intact.

Key Players to Watch Out for:-

For India, it takes no second guesses on who will be crucial to set the tone right, incase you are still wondering, it has to be Virat and Ajinkya, two senior most members in the batting line up, while in bowling department, apart from spin duo, Ashwin and Jadeja, Umesh Yadav's  lethal pace and Ishant Sharma's ability to bounce the batsmen would be vital.

For Australia, Warner and Smith needs to be on the top of their game, while Peter Handscomb along with Shaun Marsh will have an opportunity to prove their mantle while in bowling department, Mitchell Starc could be lethal, while Hazlewood and Nathan Lyon can help Steve Smith contain and put batsman under pressure by bowling more maiden overs. 

Toss: Australia won the toss and elected to bat first.

Captains During the Toss :-

Virat:- We were looking to bat first as well but I do not come to the toss expecting anything. We lost three tosses against England but won four games. I think these things should be kept out of the contention. I look at it as a challenge and are looking to do the same today. We've made one change in the form of Jayant coming in place of Bhuvi and have two seamers in Umesh and Ishant as well. Would be very important to start off well. The ODI against England was outstanding and hopefully the crowds would come in for this one as well.

Steve Smith: We are going to have a bat. It looks very dry and should stay low and could spin from ball one. Looks different from the T20 games and would look to post a good score first up. We've done everything right with the preparation and now it is all about getting our plans right. 

Playing XI

India: Murali Vijay, Lokesh Rahul, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli(c), Ajinkya Rahane, Wriddhiman Saha(w), Ravichandran Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Jayant Yadav, Umesh Yadav, Ishant Sharma.

Australia: David Warner, Matt Renshaw, Shaun Marsh, Steven Smith(c), Peter Handscomb, Mitchell Marsh, Matthew Wade(w), Mitchell Starc, Steve O'Keefe, Nathan Lyon, Josh Hazlewood. 

Sahil Mehan

Cricket, Music and Travel. Did I mention I am an Engine