India vs Australia: Virat Kohli addresses media; Tim Paine announces team for Test: Indian cricket team has decided to wait till the first Test against Australia at the Adelaide Oval starts. The team has decided to announce their playing XI on Thursday. The team also announced a 12-man squad in the captaincy of Virat Kohli. Virat addressed the media in Adelaide by saying that Hanuma Vihari and Rohit Sharma will compete for one spot.
Vihari, a batting all-rounder, made his debut in the Oval Test this year. He made 56 in first innings and took 3/37 in bowling. Rohit played against South Africa, the last of his 25 tests in January this year. In 2014-2015, Rohit toured Australia with an average of 28.33 in six innings and one Half-Century.
India never won a test series in Australia and has never entered the test series as the No.1 team in the world. On Wednesday, Australia spawned a surprise by dismissing all-rounder Mitch Marsh for the first Test against India. It was confirmed that Usman Khawaja will return for the test even after the jolt of his brother’s arrest. Marcus Harris will make his debut as an opener. Batsmen Travis Head and Peter Handscomb were in favour of Mitch Marsh.
Tim Paine, the captain of the team said that the dismissing of Marsh was due to the intermittent consistency and absence of uniformity. He added by saying that it would help him to gain the form and returning to Sheffield Shield cricket. “Mitch Marsh has not been as consistent as he would like and we would like. We know the talent that Mitch has and we know that most likely at some stage in this series we will need him. We are taking the opportunity at the moment to go back and play a Shield game and get some cricket under belt,” said Tim at the pre-match press conference.
Harris will debut and will be opening along Aaron Finch, with Khawaja coming in at first drop. Khawaja’s brother was arrested on Tuesday for allegedly mounting a colleague with a false terror plot. Khawaja is also returning after his ankle surgery. He was not spotted on the practice nets on Wednesday after the disaster broke on his family.
The omission of Mitch Marsh will increase problem for Josh Hazlewood, Mitchell Starc, Pat Cummins and Nathan Lyon. Nathan Lyon, an off-spin bowler, will have to take on more overs despite hot weather in Adelaide.
Paine assured and said in support of Nathan Lyon, “We obviously have a lot of confidence in Nathan Lyon bowling a lot of overs if we need to and probably the fact that all our three quicks go in real fresh. We have confidence in them, particularly at the start of the series.”
India’s 12-man squad:
Murali Vijay, KL Rahul, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli (capt), Rohit Sharma, Ajinkya Rahane, Hanuma Vihari, Rishabh Pant, Ravi Ashwin, Mohammed Shami, Ishant Sharma, Jasprit Bumrah
Australia’s playing XI:
Marcus Harris, Aaron Finch, Usman Khawaja, Shaun Marsh, Travis Head, Peter Handscomb, Tim Paine (capt), Josh Hazlewood, Pat Cummins, Nathan Lyon, Mitchell Starc