Indian team looking to stretch winning streak against Australia

Photo of Indian cricket team players during their practice session at Maharashtra Cricket Association Stadium in Pune on Feb 22nd.

Pune: Host Indian team after crushing New Zealand by (3-0), England (4-0) and Bangladesh in one test match only at home ground is going to take on visiting team Australia in their opening match at Pune of their four test matches cricket series.

Confident Indian team have faced defeat in 2012 while playing at home, since then the team continued to win 17 matches apart from drawing three. It will be a matter of prestige for home team to defeat Australians at home as visitors have to face spin friendly pitch at the Maharashtra Cricket Association (MCA) stadium.

The host is facing only one problem and that is in batting department as its opening pair Murali Vijay and K.L. Rahul who were not consistent throughout the season against England.

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On the bowling side, the team has two star spinners Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja will be the game-changers for the Virat Kohli-led India.

On other hand, the Kangaroos are also suffering from the poor form of their opener Matt Renshaw who although slammed a brilliant 184 in his last Test innings but that was at a different venue.

During the practice match against India A in Mumbai, the 20-year-old failed to impress his captain Steve Smith as he could manage to score only 21 runs in both the innings.

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So it will be a selection headache for Smith who will have to select one among Renshaw or Usman Khawaja.

In the pace bowling department, the visitors have a little bit of inexperience as they have come with a bunch of young players unlike previous tours apart from pacer Mitchell Starc and Jose Hazlewood.

Now it will be difficult for them to prevail over the Indian batting line-up which has the likes of Kohli, Vijay, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane and wicketkeeper-batsman Wriddhiman Saha.

The squads:

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Indian Team: Virat Kohli (captain), Murali Vijay, K.L. Rahul, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane, Wriddhiman Saha (wicketkeeper), Ravichandaran Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Ishant Sharma, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Umesh Yadav, Karun Nair, Jayant Yadav, Kuldeep Yadav, Abhinav Mukund, Hardik Pandya.

Australia Team: Steve Smith (captain), David Warner, Ashton Agar, Jackson Bird, Peter Handscomb, Josh Hazlewood, Usman Khawaja, Nathan Lyon, Mitchell Marsh, Shaun Marsh, Glenn Maxwell, Stephen O’Keefe, Matthew Renshaw, Mitchell Starc, Mitchell Swepson, Matthew Wade (wicketkeeper).