Australia in India 2016-17 February 14, 2017

India unchanged for first two Australia Tests

ESPNcricinfo staff
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Kalra: Don't be surprised if Kuldeep Yadav gets a game

India have named an unchanged 16-man squad for the first two Tests of the upcoming series against Australia, starting February 23 in Pune. There was no press conference or an explanation in the BCCI press release, but it can be assumed that batsman Rohit Sharma, fast bowler Mohammed Shami and legspinner Amit Mishra had not recovered from their injuries.

The three national selectors met in Mumbai a day after India won the one-off Test against Bangladesh in Hyderabad, and the recovery of the injured players would have been the only reason to change a winning combination. Shami is considered to be India's best pace bowler and an expert at reverse swing. He had injured his knee during the England Test series.

Karun Nair, who scored a triple-century in the Chennai Test against England, is available as a middle-order back-up, the spot Rohit vacated when he injured his thigh during the ODI series against New Zealand. Rohit had to undergo surgery in England and only resumed training last week.

Mishra was named as the fourth spinner in the squad for the Bangladesh Test, behind R Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja and Jayant Yadav. However, he injured his knee while diving on the bumpy Bangalore outfield during the final T20I against England. Kuldeep Yadav, the Uttar Pradesh left-arm wristspinner who was brought in as a replacement, retained his place in the squad.

Kuldeep, who was named in the India A squad to play the tour game against the Australians, is likely to be withdrawn from the fixture, which starts from February 17. Allrounder Hardik Pandya, another member of this Test squad, is captain of India A and is expected to play.

Squad: Virat Kohli (capt), R Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Abhinav Mukund, Karun Nair, Hardik Pandya, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane, KL Rahul, Wriddhiman Saha, Ishant Sharma, M Vijay, Jayant Yadav, Umesh Yadav, Kuldeep Yadav

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  • opto_pus on February 21, 2017, 20:23 GMT

    @CRICK_JUNKY:"@AUSSIENSW - Rightly said, I completely agree with you. The only place where you get fair wickets these days are in Australia which holds good for all 5 days. Worst pitches are in Asia"Which probably explains Australia's desire to not tour Bangladesh in 2016 for a two test series and watching them play Sri Lanka last year proved a real eye opener for most test match fans. The Sri Lankan openers were very poor actually the Sri Lankan batting throughout the series was poor but the Australian batting was minus, minus poor by a long margin to lose to Sri Lanka 3-0 and be whitewashed without any fight was a real slaughter of the Australian batting, India should produce some real turners to see what the Australian are made of Lokesh Rahul is the weakest link in the Indian top four, with Rahane not far behind with his complete inability to play spin bowling in Asian conditions these two should really be replaced by Karun Nair for Rahane and Shreyas Iyer for KL Rahul.

  • Abhishekcric123 on February 21, 2017, 15:23 GMT

    ..also, the Aussies need to stop whining about the pitches and not lament about their past record here. All they could do, to say the least, is draw some inspiration from their 2004-05 outings here

  • Abhishekcric123 on February 21, 2017, 15:21 GMT

    Just my two cents here: 1. This Aussie team lacks a quality middle order batsman who can stick around in the middle for a while. Although Smith comes in good at times, he's unpredictable. This side lacks the Clarke/Martyn from 2004 series. 2. With Johnson (mitch) gone, O'Keefe being hammered for runs in the tour game, the onus is on Starc and Lyon to perform. 3. The pitch aspect, I feel the venues are balanced out. Bangalore may offer some turn, so might Dharamsala (from its ODI experience). Pune and Ranchi, either one made a flat track, this would offer a good contest.

  • crick_junky on February 21, 2017, 12:22 GMT

    @AUSSIENSW - Rightly said, I completely agree with you. The only place where you get fair wickets these days are in Australia which holds good for all 5 days. Worst pitches are in Asia

  • crick_junky on February 21, 2017, 12:19 GMT

    @AGRUVA - Even Ind batsmen can't bat on rank turners, we all saw that when Dear Elgar (yes an opening batsmen) was ripping through your top order. Mind you, if pitches are evened out, Ind is in for a surprise this time.

  • A.Ak on February 21, 2017, 11:51 GMT

    Its going to be very interesting! Well balanced side. So I'm sure Aussies are going use their traditional tactics of being "verbal" and try to win from that. Could India will be able reply with bat and ball, again?

  • BRADMANBESTEVER on February 19, 2017, 15:05 GMT

    Australia has better quicks, India has better slow bowlers and the batting is about the same. GAME ON!

  • maddy20 on February 19, 2017, 2:25 GMT

    @LAKINGSFAN To be honest Eng is a better team in the subcontinent than Aus. They had decent spinners in Ali and Rashid, good batsmen who were willing to tough it out like Root and Cook, swash bucklers to take the fight to the opposition like Bairstow and Stokes, and decent pace bowlers in Broad(Yes I would rate him over Jimmy Anderson any day) and Stokes. Australia does not check any of these boxes other than pace bowling. IMHO the pace bowling duo of Jackson bird and Starc is the only credible threat against the Indian batting lineup. Apart from that, I am highly skeptical that they will hold their own against our trio of spinners who batted and bowled England out of the game repeatedly. I think their confidence is justified. However it would be folly to under-estimate the Aussies and be complacent.

  • ELECTRIC_LOCO_WAP4_IS_DELUDED on February 18, 2017, 12:49 GMT

    AUSSIENSW: Aussies produce flat tracks to nullify the opposition. Subcontinental teams typically don't have the pace to take pitch out of the equation and then must match the Aussies by piling on big totals instead. As you can see, that usually produces a draw/loss and not a win. On the other hand, India has pitches to suit everyone. Grass in Kolkata, high altitude in Dharmasala, turner in Mumbai and a good batting track in Ahmedabad.

  • pitchdoc on February 18, 2017, 8:25 GMT

    Love the choice of grounds this series, must say India have some nice old school grounds to choose from. Like English grounds. Dharamsala could be one of my top 3 favourites!

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