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India possible playing XI for first Test against Australia

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Last Updated on 1 year by Charbel Coorey

Cricket News: India possible playing XI for first Test against Australia | India possible playing XI prediction for first Test at Nagpur

India will be aiming to continue their magnificent home record when they take on arch-rivals Australia in a four-match Test series starting on February 9 at Nagpur. The Indians have lost just two out of 43 matches since their last Test series defeat on home soil – back in 2012 against Alastair Cook’s England – and start as very strong favourites to build on that record.

However, they face some questions. Rishabh Pant’s indefinite absence leaves a significant hole given how prolific the keeper-batsman has been in recent years, especially against Australia. Also, Shubman Gill’s magnificent 2022 so far, albeit in white-ball cricket, makes it difficult to ignore him.

Possible playing XI for India for Nagpur Test

Here is CricBlog’s predicted playing XI for India for the first Test.

1. Rohit Sharma (c)
2. Shubman Gill
3. Cheteshwar Pujara
4. Virat Kohli
5. KL Rahul
6. KS Bharat (wk)
7. Ravindra Jadeja
8. R Ashwin
9. Axar Patel
10. Umesh Yadav
11. Mohammad Siraj

India have a host of wicket-keeping options, namely KS Bharat, Ishan Kishan and KL Rahul. However, the home side may opt to select KS Bharat, who has been a consistent performer in First Class cricket, with 4,707 runs at an average of 37.95. Also, he is solid with the gloves, which was on show in his substitute appearance against New Zealand in 2021.

India may also play both Shubman Gill and KL Rahul. Suryakumar Yadav is also an option for the middle order, but Rahul’s experience may win him a spot. Gill may be drafted in to open, given his very promising performances in Australia in the 2020/21 Border-Gavaskar Trophy and fantastic form in 2022. Plus, his ability to provide brisk starts could prove crucial.

In terms of the spinners, expect India to go with their brilliant finger-spinning trio of Ashwin, Jadeja and Axar. Kuldeep Yadav is also a terrific option, but Axar’s record in India (39 wickets, avg. 12.43) is far too difficult to ignore.

India are certainly spoilt for choice with regards to the seamers as Shami (67 wickets, avg. 21.28), Umesh (98 wickets, avg. 25.16) and Siraj (6 wickets, avg. 16.66) all possess excellent Test records at home. However, Umesh Yadav could get the nod over one of Shami or Siraj with the Test taking place in his hometown of Nagpur.

Read more of CricBlog’s 2023 Border-Gavaskar Trophy content, including:

Charbel Coorey
Charbel Cooreyhttps://cricblog.net
Charbel is the owner & founder of cricblog.net, based in Sydney, Australia. He started the website to fulfill his love for the game of cricket. Charbel has also been featured on other publications including OP India, Times of India, and The Roar, among others. For any story tips or questions, you can contact Charbel at charbelcoorey@cricblog.net.

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