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*Official* Australia in India 2023

TimAngas

U19 Vice-Captain
At last the time has come. This is the test series that has occupied my mind most since Australia retained the Ashes in 2019. The 2017 series was one of the most thrilling series I've ever seen, and I can only hope for a similar contest this time around. The three most recent BG-series have been ultra competitive. So given my excitement, please indulge this wall of text.

On paper, disregarding conditions, Australia looks a better team than we did in 2017. We are in great form. But in Indian conditions there are some caveats:

Despite our success in Pakistan, the surfaces in India are going to be much more lively, and there is a big question mark over the second spinner, with the selectors pulled in a number of directions. The heart says to go with the wrist-spinner Swepson as an attacking option, but the success visiting left-armers with quicker, flatter trajectory (Steve O'Keefe, Panesar) mean that Agar is the frame, despite a middling record of late. Holland isn't in performing well enough and doesn't bat while Kuhnemann is maybe too raw. Todd Murphy looks to also have a flatter trajectory (as he's taller maybe he doesn't need to flight the ball as much?), but then doesn't provide the leg-spinning variation. My feeling is that Australia should pick for the conditions. On insane bunsens they should go with Agar, but Swepson might be a better option on a Karun Nair road.

In 2017 we had Renshaw and Handscomb, both who are natural players of spin. Renshaw performed really well on the two most spinning wickets in the first two tests. I would have said it was worth having Renshaw as an option to replace Warner if he performed poorly, but Warner has probably made himself undroppable until the Ashes. Nonetheless Travis Head doesn't seem to have a coherent plan against spin yet and so Renshaw could potentially slot in for him if Head is made to look totally at sea in the first few tests.

Mitchell Starc's injury causes a few problems for Australia. On a flat wicket Starc and Cummins would have been the two pacers I would have picked. Starc has the extra advantage of creating rough outside the right-handers off stump and India might have a top order with just right-handers: (Rahul/Gill/Rohit, Pujara, Kohli, Iyer). I would include Joel Paris in the squad if Starc is ruled out for the whole tour. I don't think the selectors will leapfrog Neser, Boland and Morris though. It might be in the selectors minds that Morris' extra pace will give us something to work with on docile wickets.

India's batting doesn't look strong at the moment. Pujara and Kohli average 23 and 26 respectively since the start of 2020 at home. Including away matches it is clear this is not a short form slump. Rohit Sharma has been great in tests through 2021 but might just be sputtering out based on the two tests he played in 2022 and middling ODI form. Iyer is in great touch and will prosper on roads. I don't forget the time he scored a run-a-ball double century against Australia in the 2017 tour match. We will bounce him no matter what. Pant may not play :(.

A lot will depend on what pitches India roll out. I think roads may actually favour Australia because (bold prediction) I can't see Pujara, Kohli, making big daddy hundreds like they might have in the past, and even then, Australia, for the first time in a while, have proven form in building an innings on a flatter wicket in Asia. On the other hand a wicket taking extreme spin, a Kohli 45(60) with wickets falling all around could be a match-winning contribution.

This is the first time going into an India tour where I've felt Australia have more than a slim chance of winning.

Prediction: 2-1 Australia
 

Sunil1z

State 12th Man
Yeah Series is 50-50 in absence of Pant . Earlier I had India at 55-45 . Now it is evenly matched.
Another worrying thing for India is form of Jadeja. He was the best spinner last time in 17 and won MoS iirc.
It is all down to Axar and Ashwin me thinks.
 

TheJediBrah

Request Your Custom Title Now!
I think Starc is as big a loss for Aus as Pant is for India. I'm not a Starc fan by any stretch and might not have him in the best XI for England but OP hit the nail on the head with all the value Starc brings in these conditions.
 

Gob

Cricketer Of The Year
I think Starc is as big a loss for Aus as Pant is for India. I'm not a Starc fan by any stretch and might not have him in the best XI for England but OP hit the nail on the head with all the value Starc brings in these conditions.
Can't see Starc not taking part the whole tour tbh. Maybe first two tests

On the other hand, India looks weak without Pant
 

Xix2565

International 12th Man
As long as we have Ash/Jadeja/Bumrah/Shami fit, Pant isn't going to be that much of a loss.
 

Sunil1z

State 12th Man
He was very influential to the first win tbh. Got Pujara and Kohli back to back in the first dig
Should I also hype Agarkar’s bowling in BG Trophy😊

Australian bowling will depend on Lyon+ Cummins. Others can be be helpful at times. But these 2 will determine the outcome of series imo.
 

Sunil1z

State 12th Man
As long as we have Ash/Jadeja/Bumrah/Shami fit, Pant isn't going to be that much of a loss.
Lol England would have drawn the series 2-2 if not for Pant+ Sundar in 4th Test.
Our batting is absolutely garbage.
I am making a bold prediction: If Kohli fails in this series, he will be dropped from the Team.
 

Xix2565

International 12th Man
Lol England would have drawn the series 2-2 if not for Pant+ Sundar in 4th Test.
Our batting is absolutely garbage.
I am making a bold prediction: If Kohli fails in this series, he will be dropped from the Team.
England had 3 bowlers that Test, they weren't winning **** then.
 

Sunil1z

State 12th Man
England had 3 bowlers that Test, they weren't winning **** then.
Did you even watch 4th Test ?
IND were 146/6 in reply to 205 . Even a 30 runs lead would have been vital considering India would have to bat in the 4th innings.
 

Gob

Cricketer Of The Year
Should I also hype Agarkar’s bowling in BG Trophy😊

Australian bowling will depend on Lyon+ Cummins. Others can be be helpful at times. But these 2 will determine the outcome of series imo.
Starc has a great record in SL and did reasonably well in Pakistan. He generally does well in the subcontinent with reverse swing bowling. He is a massive loss if he doesn't play regardless of what his bowling average over two tests in India is atm
 

Sunil1z

State 12th Man
Starc has a great record in SL and did reasonably well in Pakistan. He generally does well in the subcontinent with reverse swing bowling. He is a massive loss if he doesn't play regardless of what his bowling average over two tests in India is atm
4 Tests
 

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