India and Australia are scheduled to lock horns in the famous Border-Gavaskar trophy in February 2023.
India has won the last 3 editions of the Border Gavaskar Trophy with 2 out of 3 of these series being played in Australia which is a remarkable feat. However, a lot has changed in Indian Cricket since the last edition. Rohit Sharma has taken over the test captaincy from Virat Kohli, Rahul Dravid is the head coach who has taken over from Ravi Shastri, and Rahane is out of the test squad among other changes. Rahane has shown very good form in the domestic circuit and deserves to be back as the Indian vice-captain. However, the biggest blow to India is that Rishab Pant is set to miss the trophy due to his accident.
Rishab Pant has been the key factor in India’s last test series win against Australia. He has been India's best Batsman over the last 12 months.
He played a few fabulous knocks which put India in the driver's seat in those games. Also, his continuous sledging and mind games have an impact on the opposition’s mind. For India to make up for his absence, spinners will have to step up and do that extra work since the series is scheduled in India. Virat Kohli needs to be back at his imperial best as his scoring those big centuries put the opposition into the shell. Jadeja will have to score in the lower order which he often does and is completely capable of.
The Current situation in hand:
Jasprit Bumrah and Rohit Sharma will be coming back from injuries it will be interesting to see how they play.
Pujara has been in good touch in the series vs Bangladesh and this is hugely positive for India. It would be great to have Surya playing in the lower middle order.
The probable best-playing XI for India is KL Rahul, Rohit Sharma, C. Pujara, Virat Kohli, A Rahane, Suryakumar Yadav, Ravindra Jadeja, R. Ashwin, Kuldeep Yadav, J. Bumrah, M. Shami.
Shubhman Gill is the first choice to open but because of his wicket-keeping skills KL Rahul gets in the mix of things if he continues with his lack of form, Ishan Kishan can be given an opportunity to open.
It will be very unfair for Hanuma Vihari, a player who has been performing his duties for the team as and when required, however, with Pant missing we need an in-form explosive batter in the lower middle order to counterattack.
As far as Australia is concerned they have ticked all the boxes vs South Africa in which they have won the three-match test series 2-0 having drawn the third match due to rain. Their top order and middle batters, and bowlers are in prime form. Australia is looking like a better team on paper but India has defeated this team 3 times repeatedly once even without having the first-choice playing XI. It should be a cracker of a series!