First Test Begins Today In Spin Friendly Conditions.
Australia in India: India vs Australia set for today in Nagpur at scorching 34 degrees.
Steve Smith, a couple of days ahead of the series against India, said a win here will be "bigger than the Ashes". That in a nutshell, explains what it means for Australia to turn the tables on India after being defeated twice at home in a span of three years. And for India, other than the pride of winning against a supremely powerful opposition, a minimum margin of two is required to clinch a spot in the World Test Championship Final.
Indian captain Rohit Sharma was obviously dismissive about the doctored-pitch theory. "We focus on the cricket that is going to be played and not so much about the pitch. Obviously it is a challenging pitch, but we have been here for a while and have prepared well, " Rohit said on the eve of the First Test.
The Indian team chose to take the day off, cooling their heels after a rigorous few days of training under the sun. Since there was no final day practice, it was difficult to gauge what the team compisition would be. Rohit, too, kept the secret, saying that "you will know the team tomorrow at 9 am".There is no doubt that the three spinners- Jadeja, Ashwin and Axar will be playing today.
The one mystery that still lingers is around the no. 5 slot. The Indian team has the option of sending Shubman Gill, who has been excellent as an opener in all formats, down the order with Rohit and KL Rahul opening. The other option is to hand SuryaKumar Yadav his debut, since his ability to play out-of-the-box shots have been well documented. "We know it's going to be a challenging series and we have to take it session by session, " Rohit said.
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