Border-Gavaskar Trophy, 1st Test: India, Australia joust for supremacy as motion begins in Nagpur


The fabled rivalry acquires a prickly edge as India and Australia gear as much as joust for supremacy within the Border-Gavaskar Trophy (BGT). The collection will get underway with the primary of 4 Test matches at Nagpur’s Vidarbha Cricket Association (VCA) Stadium from Thursday.

The stakes are increased than ever within the present iteration of the collection. 

First, a spot within the World Test Championship ultimate later this yr is up for grabs. Australia already has one foot within the title conflict on the Oval; solely a draw separates the aspect from an official affirmation. India, in the meantime, is locked in a three-way battle for proportion factors with Sri Lanka and South Africa. The solely method coach Rahul Dravid’s males can qualify with out having to trouble about different outcomes is by profitable a minimum of three video games.

Then, there’s additionally an opportunity of the host attending to leapfrog the Aussies to assert the highest spot within the ICC Test rankings. It must win by a margin of two or extra video games to maneuver to the summit in all codecs of the sport, turning into solely the second workforce ever to realize the feat after South Africa in 2014.


The spin issue

Nagpur, historically identified to favour spinners, can be no totally different this time round. Cricket Australia (CA), which final performed at this venue solely in 2008, referred to as it ‘bone dry’ on Tuesday, including that it was additionally sporting unfastened cracks. When the monitor takes some beating, the tough will certainly come into play, the prospect of which could have Ravichandran Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja and Nathan Lyon licking their lips.

Australia has been getting ready in distinctive methods to cope with the flip within the subcontinent.

A handful of gamers, earlier than their departure, practised on a dusty pitch on the Bon Andrews Oval in North Sydney, specifically made to emulate the Indian circumstances. That floor additionally had lots of cracks akin to what may be typically noticed on deteriorating decks right here.

The collection is World No. 1 Test batter Marnus Labuschagne’s first journey to India. The highest run-scorer within the 2020-21 version of the BGT has left no stone unturned to arrange for the rank turners, even developing with a novel yard contraption. On a specifically made mat, he could possibly be seen taping sheets which, on coming into contact with the ball, made it inconceivable to foretell the course of the flip. 

CA even managed to rope Maheesh Pithiya, a neighborhood spinner whose motion is just like that of Ashwin’s, to bowl within the nets.

Jadeja’s return to spice up Indian assault

Fresh from selecting seven wickets towards Tamil Nadu in his comeback sport after a again damage within the Ranji Trophy, Jadeja can even draw confidence from his previous performances towards Australia. In 22 Test innings towards the Aussies, the left-arm spinner has picked up 63 wickets.

His efficiency, when working in tandem with the skilled Ashwin, appears to obtain a lift as effectively. Without Ashwin within the eleven, Jadeja has scalped 45 wickets in 31 innings at a mean of 40.4. However, with the wily off-spinner for firm, he has picked up 197 wickets from 83 innings at a miserly common of 21.1.

While Jadeja can be efficient towards the right-handers, Ashwin is deadly towards southpaws, having gathered 226 profession wickets of left-handed batters at a mean of 19.5 and a strike fee of 47.6.

PS – Four of Australia’s possible prime seven are left-handed: David Warner, Usman Khawaja, Travis Head and Alex Carey.

Lethal Lyon

Nathan Lyon “will lead our attack this series”, Australia skipper Pat Cummins remarked on the eve of the Nagpur Test. With seamers Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazlewood and Cameron Green lacking out with accidents and the circumstances favouring spin, Lyon can be anticipated to bowl much more overs. And, in fact, take much more wickets.

He has been the joint-most profitable bowler towards Virat Kohli within the longest format, alongside England pacer James Anderson. They have every eliminated him on seven events. That Kohli has not scored a Test century since November 2019 doesn’t make issues simpler.

When the pacers’ footmarks steadily change into extra distinguished by Lunch on day two, Lyon’s deliveries from the opposite finish will pose a problem. 

The crucial No. 5 spot

With Shreyas Iyer out with a again damage and vice-captain KL Rahul virtually sure to open alongside captain Rohit Sharma, there can be a toss-up between Shubman Gill, who has scored 4 centuries in his final seven innings throughout codecs, and Suryakumar Yadav, the No. 1 T20 batter, for the No. 5 spot.

“Gill and Surya bring different things to the table. Gill has been in supreme form in the last 3-4 months. A couple of hundreds, big hundreds as well. On the other hand, Surya in T20 cricket has shown what he is capable of. He can bring that kind of game to Test cricket as well. Both are quality options. We have not decided yet. We will keep in mind all aspects of the game,” Rohit mentioned throughout the captains’ press convention.

Axar or Kuldeep?

While Jadeja and Ashwin are assured of their spots, just one between left-arm spinners Kuldeep Yadav and Axar Patel might take the sector on Thursday.

Wrist spinner Kuldeep has extra variations and could also be useful on flatter tracks, whereas Axar, a finger spinner, might utilise the cracks on the pitch to show the ball. Axar’s deadliest supply is the one which pitches and retains straight. It usually deceives batters into taking part in for the flip.

“Axar and Kuldeep, whenever they have got an opportunity, they have done well. They have put batters under pressure. In the last series that we played against England, Axar took a lot of wickets (27 wickets, the most by an Indian in his debut four-match Test series). Kuldeep played only one Test match against Bangladesh and got five wickets,” Rohit mentioned.


India (for the primary two Tests): Rohit Sharma (c), KL Rahul (vc), Shubman Gill, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli, Shreyas Iyer, KS Bharat, Ishan Kishan, R. Ashwin, Axar Patel, Kuldeep Yadav, Ravindra Jadeja, Mohammad Shami, Mohammed Siraj, Umesh Yadav, Jaydev Unadkat, Suryakumar Yadav.

Australia: Pat Cummins (c), Ashton Agar, Scott Boland, Alex Carey, Cameron Green, Peter Handscomb, Josh Hazlewood, Travis Head, Usman Khawaja, Marnus Labuschagne, Nathan Lyon, Lance Morris, Todd Murphy, Matthew Renshaw, Steve Smith (vc), Mitchell Starc, Mitchell Swepson, David Warner

Source web site:

( No ratings yet )