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Can Australia claim their first Test series win in India since 2004?

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Roar Rookie
13th January, 2023
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In February Australia travel to India for the first time since 2017. That year, they won the first Test largely thanks to a magnificent bowling effort by Steve O’Keefe, his figures for the match being 12/70.

Australia couldn’t capitalise on that good work, however, and went on to lose the series 2-1.

This time Australia has a great opportunity to win a series in India for the first time since 2004. If they do succeed it will also be their first series win against India since 2014 after losing their last two series here in Australia.

I am looking forward to seeing Australia be put under the pump. Apart from a couple of nervy moments against South Africa at the Gabba, they never really got out of first gear throughout the whole summer.

Pat Cummins has not put a foot wrong on-field since he became captain. There was criticism of how the Justin Langer situation was handled but, whilst playing, the fast bowler has been magnificent. However, this year will be his toughest year to date with a tour of India, the Ashes away and the ODI World Cup, also in India.

Cummins played the last two Tests in India during the 2017 series and had some relative success. He’s a more mature cricketer now and he knows his game inside out. Expect a big series from captain Pat.

Ashton Agar copped some criticism for his performance in Sydney. But looking at how the pitch played it was never really suited to his bowling. He can have an impact in India.

Ashton Agar. (Photo by Jeremy Ng/Getty Images)

I agree with the inclusion of Todd Murphy. It’s important to pick players when they’re in good form and Murphy is definitely in good form, although I wonder since he bowls the same style as Nathan Lyon whether or not they’d want something a bit different.


Agar, who bowls left arm, has the ability to dart it in at the right handers. We’ve seen in India sometimes it’s the ones who go straight on who are just as difficult to combat as the spinners. Mitchell Swepson is also an option if they want some leg spin variety.

I like the inclusion of Peter Handscomb. He has played in these conditions before and has had a good Sheffield Shield season, whereas Travis Head and Marnus Labuschagne haven’t played Tests in India before.

Head struggled in the recent tour of Pakistan, only making 68 runs from four innings. However, he’s been in such brilliant form of late and I’m looking forward to seeing what he can do. His off-spinners might be handy as well. I’d assume Marnus Labuschagne will adapt to the different conditions very quickly.

Another batter who will be striving to adjust to the new conditions is Usman Khawaja who is in career-best form. David Warner has struggled in India, only averaging 24.25 after 16 innings, you still start with him opening though.

Matthew Renshaw has played in India before. That time, he opened the batting. If Cam Green is still injured for the first Test, Renshaw could come into the middle order. It will be interesting to see what they do if they want to play two spinners.

If Cam Green is fit, he should play. He can give the other two fast bowlers a cut out.

On the topic of fast bowlers Lance Morris has been added to the squad. The news seems to be that Mitchell Starc will miss the first Test. I would bring in Morris instead of Scott Boland, as it is a more like-for-like replacement.


Australian XI for the first Test vs India

1. U. Khawaja
2. D. Warner
3. M. Labuschagne
4. S. Smith
5. T. Head
6. A. Carey (wk)
7. A. Agar
8. P. Cummins (c)
9. L. Morris
10. J. Hazlewood
11. N. Lyon