Predicting India's likely playing XI for the first Test against Australia
On Friday, BCCI announced the squad for the first two Tests against Australia. There were some interesting selections but the core of the squad has remained the same. On that note, here, we predict India's likely playing XI for the first Test against Australia. Before that, here is a look at the squad:
India’s squad for first 2 Tests vs Australia: Rohit Sharma (C), KL Rahul (VC), Shubman Gill, C Pujara, V Kohli, S Iyer, KS Bharat (wk), Ishan Kishan (wk), R Ashwin, Axar Patel, Kuldeep Yadav, Ravindra Jadeja, Mohd. Shami, Mohd. Siraj, Umesh Yadav, Jaydev Unadkat and Suryakumar Yadav.
Openers: Rohit Sharma (C) and KL Rahul
Rohit Sharma and KL Rahul will open in India's likely playing XI for the first Test against Australia. While Rohit Sharma is certain to take his spot, having been appointed as the vice-captain, KL Rahul is also likely to play against Australia. This will be a tough call because Shubman Gill has been in fine form and it will be hard to leave him out. If KL fails in the first game, he will be dropped for the next game.
Middle-Order: Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli, Shreyas Iyer and KS Bharat (WK)
The middle order wears a similar look to the one that played against Bangladesh. Just that Rishabh Pant will not be a part of the XI. It will be a defining series for Pujara and Kohli. They should do well or they might be dropped. KS Bharat will be under pressure to replace Pant and hence, Iyer will be the key man in this middle order.
All-Rounders: R Ashwin and Axar Patel
R Ashwin and Axar Patel might be the all-rounders in India's likely playing XI for the first Test against Australia. Ravindra Jadeja is still unfit and will be available if he is fit by then. However, India may not risk him and also, it is not useful to have two left-arm spinners in the XI, when Australia has a lot of lefties in the playing XI. Hence, only R Ashwin and Axar might come in as the all-rounders.
Bowlers: Kuldeep Yadav, Mohammed Shami and Mohammed Siraj
Thanks to his recent form, Kuldeep Yadav is likely to get a chance in the playing XI. In the pace department, Shami and Siraj are likely to feature. It won't be a surprise if Umesh Yadav comes in place of Siraj. However, Siraj is good against left-handers and will be ahead in the pecking order,