These are the men who will tour Australia this summer.
1. Mayank Agarwal
Agarwal’s meteoric rise in Test cricket since his debut in Melbourne in December 2018 has gone unnoticed. Three big knocks at home against South Africa, including a double ton, showed his knack for big runs, albeit at home. He looked very fluent on debut in Australia and will have his work cut out for him against the likes of Mitchell Starc, Pat Cummins and Josh Hazlewood.
2. Rohit Sharma
He is a semi-bolter. Sharma boasts the second best ODI record of any current cricketer in the world, but he is not the finished article in Test cricket. Like Agarwal, he piled up big runs in the Indian home summer against the South Africans and Bangladesh after being moved from his customary middle-order spot in Tests to open. It will be a big challenge at the top of the order in Australia against the cartel. If he opens, this tour will surely show us whether he has the credentials to be a high quality opener in Tests, like the ODI legend he is.
3. Cheteshwar Pujara
He had a golden tour last time in Australia. Pujara single handedly ground Australia into boredom and submission with large, large knocks in Adelaide, Melbourne and Sydney. Pujara will be looking forward to batting on some pristine wickets this summer. If he’s not troubled at the start of his innings, expect him to go very large again.
4. Virat Kohli – captain
Who else but him? He will look forward to battling with Steve Smith for the crown of cricket’s premier batsmen. He will relish being the Australian public’s enemy number one again and his fiery on-field antics will add to the drama. In comparison to Kohli’s monster 2014-15 tour, a return of one hundred and one 50 was a bit deflating and reflected his struggles against Nathan Lyon. As always, he is most dangerous under pressure and in the face of the Australian opponents.
5. Ajinkya Rahane
An underrated player, Rahane has long been the glue of the Indian middle order. He has a solid technique, however he has had some struggles against moving balls in England and New Zealand.
6. Hanuma Vihari
He is India’s old-school cricketer alongside Pujara. He can open too, but his only flaw in Test cricket to date is his dealing with the short ball. The cartel should dig up their files for Vihari and bombard him to see whether he has adapted to chin music.
7. Rishabh Pant
He has fallen out of India’s pecking order after poor performances in all formats. However Pant has fond memories of the last tour of Australia, with a mammoth knock in Sydney. He is a decent gloveman. This tour will show whether Pant has recovered from his decline.
8. Ravindra Jadeja
In Australia, it is likely India will play one front-line spinner. Jadeja was handy in the final two Tests in 2018-19 and is capable of scoring well. It will be interesting to see how he adapts on different wickets.
9. Ishant Sharma
A very underrated bowler, Sharma possesses pace, accuracy and swing, which will definitely ask questions of the Aussie top order. Be wary of him against left handers.
10. Jasprit Bumrah
He is the main man for the Indian attack. He had a sensational series last time out. Enthralling battles against Smith, David Warner and Marnus Labuschagne await.
11. Mohammed Shami
He has become very consistent for India in the last few years. He has a nasty bouncer and good, accurate pace.