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Kuldeep, who was named in the India A squad to play the tour game against the Australians, is likely to be withdrawn from the fixture, which starts from February 17.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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  • 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!

  • LAKINGSFAN on February 17, 2017, 19:07 GMT

    I see a lot of complacency among Indian fans. I don't think Aus will fold that easily. It might require extra effort to conquer them.

  • AGRUVA on February 17, 2017, 16:06 GMT

    No arrogance like our touring guests but lucky for Australia that Shami isn't playing otherwise Shami is good enough to rip through their top orders. Ishant would be handy against Smith and Warner. Ashwin and Jadeja would do rest of the job. Gone are the days when pitches were doctored however what is the fun of touring when you can't play Spin or on rank turners. Spin bowling is also an integral part of Cricket. I have never heard any Asian team complaining about green tops when they tour Aus , Eng, NZ or SA and are always accommodating to the conditions but shame it can't be said the same for the others. Shame indeed.

  • US_Indian on February 17, 2017, 6:44 GMT

    Rohit is a no fit for tests- so please keep him away from this test team, we have already some decent batsmen warming the bench.

  • amitksingh on February 17, 2017, 3:19 GMT

    Australia will be very hard to beat. Th only players in India who can make impact are Ashwin and Jadeja. If india provide flat pitches then only Rahul, Saha, kohli, karun can make some runs against mighty pace of Australians. If India eyeing a series victory then they must prepare spin friendly pitches. Otherwise it will b impossible to beat Australia.

  • AussieNSW on February 16, 2017, 21:43 GMT

    @Samroy. Says it all about you blokes. The need to select a certain type of wicket to get the better of an opposition! What happens when a highly ranked opponent tours Australia? They get pretty much the same rotation of grounds consistently. Start in beautiful Brizzie then to perfect Perth. After that it's awesome Adelaide, Magic Melbourne for boxing day and finishes in sensational Sydney at new year!. Depends on how many tests there are in the series and time of year. All the wickets are belters and create fair conditions for both sides. All the moaning from you guys about batting roads whilst at the same time boasting about your great batting line up should mean plenty of runs and an odd fluke win to you guys correct? Hasn't worked out that way. Hobart generally misses a gig for the top sides as we just don't draw a crowd down there. No talk about selecting specific grounds here to give an advantage to us. They're all great top standard venues and the envy of world cricket!!!!

  • CricketChat on February 16, 2017, 15:35 GMT

    Indians will find Aussies a different kettle of fish compared to NZ, Eng and BD. None of those teams have a David Warner, who alone can single handedly turn the course of a match in a single session or a Steve Smith, who can play a long innings at almost ODI pace once he settles down. They also have the most effective opening bowling the game right now which should pose serious challenge to Ind top order. I have no doubt this series will be the most exciting yet of the Indian home season.

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