The Australian test team has finally arrived in India after spending some time in Dubai. Led by captain Steven Smith and coach Darren Lehman, the Aussies are a tough bunch but know that they have their hands full when they take on India in a four match test series. They will begin their tour with a three day warm up match starting on Feb 17 against an India A side.
The Aussies come to the sub-continent with a record they will want to forget. They have lost their last 9 matches in Asia and have only one won test series in the last forty eight years in India. This Aussie squad is also relatively in-experienced in sub-continent conditions as the likes of Michael Clarke, Shane Watson, Mitchell Johnson and Brad Haddin have all retired. Steven Smith’s record in the sub-continent is not very impressive and he will want to remedy that by leading from the front.
The Aussies have a young and in-experienced line-up when it comes to playing in sub-continent conditions. Mitchell Starc and Josh Hazelwood have done extremely well when playing on bouncy pitches but they will have to come to grips with bowling on dry pitches that do not offer much assistance for the seamers. Nathan Lyon is the most experienced spinner in the side but his form of late has been under the spotlight and if he fails to perform in the first two tests, he could be under enormous pressure.
The first test match is scheduled to take place in Pune and will start on February 23. Australia will play batsmen Matthew Renshaw and Peter Handscomb in the first test. While both batsman are coming off a good home season, they will be tested by India’s spin twins R Ashwin and R Jadeja who have both been in phenomenal form.
The Aussies will also have their hands full as they are battling an Indian side led by Virat Kohli that has won its last four series on the trot and are full of confidence. They will rely heavily on vice-captain David Warner who is in pristine form and also on the experience of Steven Smith, Shaun Marsh and wicket-keeper Matthew Wade. Steven Smith has spoken to the media and said that he will not hold back his players from being aggressive on the field and sledging the Indians, as he wants his players to do whatever they need to do to get fired up and get Australia off to a good start.