With many debates and discussions regarding few spots, India has named their playing eleven for the Adelaide Test.
With hours to go for the Test to begin, India has ended some debates through the eleven.
The names have solved issues regarding the opening pair, bowling combination, and wicket-keeper for the Test.
The middle-order and two premier bowlers retain their places, as does Mayank Agarwal.
After low scores in the warm-ups and a silent IPL, Prithvi Shaw keeps his place at the top of the order.
Shaw is a very talented batsman and has shown his ability in his first two Tests, but has struggled to replicate as his career went on.
He didn’t have a great time in New Zealand and struggled in the IPL, but the selectors are now backing him as India’s opener.
With the middle-order settled, backing Shaw seems like a decision to ensure some continuity in the batting line-up.
He has played some loose shots in the warm-up games but is now given another chance to prove himself on the big stage.
There are numerous reasons for his inclusion, as the decision to maintain continuity in the side.
Another reason could be Virat Kohli’s absence later in the series.
With Kohli leaving, a middle-order slot will be empty and likely filled by Shubman Gill.
As Gill may slot in the middle-order, India may not have wanted to confuse themselves by switching Gill’s position midway through the series.
To ensure there is less chaos, India has gone for Shaw ahead of Gill, despite Gill doing well in the warm-ups.
India’s premier Test spinner is back, as there have been doubts regarding India’s spinners’ choice.
Ravichandran Ashwin is in the side, and this puts a rest on India’s questions playing an all-pace attack.
Ravichandran Ashwin is among the more experienced players in the side, and with Ravindra Jadeja injured, Ashwin’s role may become more critical.
He is not known to bowl well overseas but has improved in the last few years and has added a few more variations.
Playing Ashwin will also allow the fans to see a face-off between Ashwin and Lyon.
The two off-spinners are considered the best in the world right now, in Test cricket, and the battle is set to continue.
The decision to play Ashwin may still raise a few question marks, considering the average spin in day-night Tests.
Barring Nathan Lyon, spinners do not have prolific numbers in Australian day-night games.
Playing Ashwin could be out of hope that he matches his World-class counterpart and replicates Lyon’s success.
While Ashwin has shown improvement overseas, India will hope he maintains his fitness.
He didn’t look the fittest during the IPL and struggled with his fitness on tours to Australia and England.
He keeps Kuldeep Yadav out of the side and will need to do well to maintain his place.
Kuldeep picked up a five-for on his last visit to Australia.
With Ravindra Jadeja likely to return, Ashwin may need an excellent performance to continue the battle with Nathon Lyon.
His inclusion further strengthens India’s batting, as he is a handy lower-order batsman.
He has taken up the role at number six before, and his knowledge will be useful.
The wicket-keeper for this Test will be Wriddhiman Saha.
The decision is a slight surprise, as India has generally preferred Pant while playing overseas.
With Saha’s superior keeping skills, India generally prefers playing him in India, while they use Pant overseas, where keepers have to stand back more often.
With a century in the warm-up game, and a good tour of Australia last time, Pant’s exclusion may be a little more surprising.
With the Test played with the pink ball, the management may have considered the ball behind the decision.
The pink ball is known to do more than the red ball, which is probably why India went with Saha over Pant.
The final inclusion was that of Umesh Yadav.
He is generally India’s preferred option at home and the first back-up option overseas.
With Ishant Sharma absent, Umesh Yadav is the apparent front-runner.
He is picked ahead of Navdeep Saini and Mohammad Siraj, who are yet to make their debuts.
Umesh Yadav is an experienced bowler, with both the red and pink ball.
He has been around for years and is more experienced than India’s premier pacers.
Yadav is on his fourth visit to Australia and has done an excellent job in the warm-up game to strengthen his side position.
His pace and experience will come in handy, as India hopes for a third pacer who maintains pressure rather than releases it.
Umesh Yadav is also a handy batsman, providing some beautiful cameos in recent Tests.
Indian Playing XI:
- Mayank Agarwal
- Prithvi Shaw
- Cheteshwar Pujara
- Virat Kohli (Captain)
- Ajinkya Rahane
- Hanuma Vihari
- Wriddhiman Saha (Wicket-keeper)
- Ravichandran Ashwin
- Umesh Yadav
- Mohammad Shami
- Jasprit Bumrah