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India’s Predicted XI Vs Australia, 1st Test: Will Suryakumar Yadav Make His Debut?

The time has arrived for the highly-anticipated Border-Gavaskar Trophy to begin. India and Australia open the 4-match assignment with the first Test in Nagpur, on a pitch that is expected to considerably favour spinners. While both the teams are likely to field three spin bowlers each in their respective playing XIs, including counter-attacking batters in the middle order could also be of considerable importance, especially as a measure to negate the spin threat. Will such a move see the Indian team hand Suryakumar Yadav his debut?

Here’s our predicted India playing XI for the 1st Test:

Rohit Sharma:The skipper, who recently his 30th ODI ton, would be determined to strike form quickly in the Test series, having last featured in the whites for the country back in March last year.

KL Rahul:Rohit Sharma didn’t swap Shubman Gill with Ishan Kishan in ODIs against New Zealand despite the latter’s double ton. He is expected to stick to his principles and select Rahul over Gill in the first Test, because of the same philosophy.

Cheteshwar Pujara:The ever-reliable Cheteshwar Pujara is a certain pick at the No. 3 spot despite some suggesting that Suryakumar Yadav should take his place.

Virat Kohli:Awaiting his Test hundred, Virat Kohli would arrive in the series with the aim of touching the triple-digit score again, having done so in ODIs and T20Is in the last few months.

Suryakumar Yadav:With Shreyas Iyer out, Suraykumar is expected to take his place, especially as he would be a like-for-like replacement, keeping in mind the ‘counter-attacking’ approach that the management wants in the middle.

KS Bharat:Though Ishan Kishan can offer some quick runs and is a similar player to Rishabh Pant when it comes to the style of play but the management is likely to give Bharat the nod, rewarding him for his consistent First-Class performances.

Ravindra Jadeja:The spin-bowling all-rounder is expected to be slotted straight into the playing XI, having impressed in the Ranji Trophy after making a long-awaited return from injury.

Ravichandran Ashwin:Arguably the ‘biggest headache’ for Australia, Ashwin is already under the spotlight for the threat he possesses against the Aussie batters. The spinner isn’t just an asset with the ball but also a reliable option down the order with the bat.

Kuldeep Yadav:While Axar Patel has done really well in Tests for India at home, he is a very similar bowler when compared to Ravindra Jadeja. Hence, to bring some variety, the team management is likely to go with Kuldeep.

Mohammed Shami:The veteran pacer remains India’s leader of the pack when it comes to the pace-bowling unit. Expect him to lead the charge with the new ball for the hosts.

Mohammed Siraj:Unarguably one of the most improved bowlers in the world, Siraj is expected to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with Shami and help the Indian team with the new ball.

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