Australia takes on India in a 4-match Test series starting with the series opener at Pune on Thursday.
The number two ranked Australian team comes into the Test series on the back of two successive losses to Sri Lanka and South Africa. While the Kangaroos lost a closely fought series to the Proteas at home, they were thrashed 3-0 by the Lankans, their worst ever Test defeat in recent history.
The Australians had a torrid time in their last Test tour to India as they were handed a 4-0 whitewash by the hosts. The Aussies would definitely like to come up with a better performance in the upcoming series.
The selectors have picked up the Test squad keeping in mind the low and spinning tracks of India.The side has a perfect blend of good stroke makers, a potent pace attack and a fairly decent spin armoury.
So let us take a close look into Australian Test squad ready to battle the Indians in the upcoming Test series at home
Australia Test Squad - David Warner, Matthew Renshaw, Steven Smith, Usman Khwaja , Shaun Marsh, Mitchell Marsh, Mitchell Starc, Matthew Wade, Pat Cummins, Jos Hazelwood, Jackson Bird, Ashton Agar, Steve O Keefe, Mitchell Swepson, Peter Handscomb
Attacking opener David Warner has been explosive for the Australians at the top and had a stellar 2016 with the bat.The diminutive opener would look to continue his rich vein of form against the Indians. Warner has struggled for an opening partner at the other end . After the retirement of Chris Rogers, the Aussies have tried out a few openers but none has cemented their place. 20-year old Matt Renshaw has been given a look in after his impressive performance against the South Africans in the home series.
The Aussies have a pretty formidable and compact middle order with plenty of experience. Skipper Steven Smith with his unorthodox yet effective technique has been their most prolific run scorer in Test cricket and would look to play the sheet anchor's role and stitch together the middle order.The Aussies have also picked up elegant batsman Usman Khwaja who has been amongst the runs off late , though he struggles big time against spin. Meanwhile Shaun Marsh who is known to be good player of spin gets another chance to prove his mantle in the Test side.
The Australians have included Mitchell Marsh and Glen Maxwell as their all-rounders. While Marsh could feature on the bouncy tracks of Dharamsala and Bangalore to compliment the pace attack, Glen Maxwell, willing to shed his ODI specialist tag could be used as handy option on spin friendly tracks. Both Marsh and Maxwell are more than handy with the bat and their inclusion shall provide depth to the Australian batting.
The seam attack shall be spearheaded by the left arm seamer Mitchell Starc. Starc has been Australia’s strike weapon with the new ball courtesy his ability to seam the ball both ways and create problems with his left-arm angle.The pace ace would like to provide his side with the breakthrough up front. Starc’s new ball partner shall be Jos Hazelwood who has been equally menacing by extracting seam movement off placid tracks.
Australians also have Pat Cummins and Jackson Bird in their side who can trouble the best with his brisk pace. Meanwhile they would bank upon Mitchell Marsh’s medium pace to compliment the pace attack on seaming tracks.
Test veteran Nathan Lyon with over 200 scalps in his name shall once be their frontline spinner. Lyon would bring in all his past experience and skill to cast a web around the Indians. Lyon shall be partnered by Steefe O' Keefe and Ashton Agar .
Meanwhile Mitchell Swepson who has been billed as a great spinner for the future would like to make an impression with the ball on his first major international tour.