Team India is set to host Australia for a four-match Test series starting on Thursday, February 9. India, under the leadership of captain Rohit Sharma, will look to book their place in the Test Championship, which can be sealed if they win the series. However, Australia were unable to win a Test series in India since 2004.
Meanwhile, Indian wicketkeeper-batter, Dinesh Karthik took to Twitter and share his India playing XI for the first Test against Australia. Karthik picked KL Rahul as the opening partner for Rohit Sharma for the first Test. The 37-year-old slotted Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli, and Suryakumar Yadav in India’s batting order. However, he didn’t include the in-form batter Shubman Gill in his Playing XI.
He opted to include Suryakumar at no.5 in place of injured Shreyas Iyer. The star batter also missed the New Zealand series with a back injury. With KS Bharat as his wicketkeeper of choice, Karthik picked Ravindra Jadeja, Ravichandran Ashwin, and Axar Patel as the all-rounders and for the spinning department as well. He picked up only two fast bowlers, Mohammed Shami and Mohammed Siraj, in his star-studded Indian playing XI for the series opener.
Josh Hazlewood reportedly ruled out of the first Test
Meanwhile, the Kangaroos will reportedly play the first Test without their premium fast bowler Josh Hazlewood and Mitchell Starc. Allrounder Cameron Green is also ruled out of the first Test due to injury. But this time, the Aussies will be hoping to win the series with the firepower of the likes of Steven Smith and Marnus Labuschagne, who are in great form.
It’s a no-brainer how much Smith loves to play against India. Smith has scored 1,742 runs against India in 14 Test matches at an average of 76.58. Given his record and tremendous form, Smith will be one of the most prized wickets in the upcoming series. He was also seen practising against Ashwin’s impersonator Mahesh Pithiya in the nets and shockingly got bowled and stumped on his bowling. It’d be interesting to see how he performs in this series against the quality spinners.
Here's how fans reacted:
Abey KL ko kele lene bhej...he should not be selected even for Ranji..— Akash J (@Aj25j) February 8, 2023
Bhai tum rehne do,Gill ka career bhi barbaaad krne par tule ho,faaaltu me rahul ko har jagah opening me bhj dete ho manhusiyat felane ke lye🙂🙂🙂🙂🙂🙂🙂🙂🙂🙂🙂🤗🙂🙂🙂🙂GILL N ROHIT MUST OPEN KL MUST HANDLE THE CRITICAL SITUATION I.E AT NUMBER 5 OR 6 ,team need senior at 5— Sushil Kharwar (@SushilKharwar3) February 8, 2023
Sky 🥴🥴🤢🤢 pic.twitter.com/AaVeVgh91s— GAURAV (@ngaurav21) February 8, 2023
Gill ko rahul ki jagah lena chahiye, rahul ki abhi shaadi hui hai abhi aur test main jayda time tak khada rahna padta hai utna stamina nahi raha hoga usme— भाई साहब (@Bhai_saheb) February 8, 2023
Gill be like: Mereko toh andar lo— Cricketbugs (@Cricketbugs0) February 8, 2023
Bhai ji apna batting record dekha hain kitna gatiya hain aur har jagah apna faltu ka knowledge dena thik nhi hai kya baat hai gill ko bahaar kr diya kl Rahul ko mauka diya jo badhe matchon mein aapki tarah har baar flop hota hain— Balveer Singh (@balveer181182) February 8, 2023
First of all remove KL Rahul— Nilesh Makwana (@NileshIshwarMa2) February 8, 2023
केएल को टेस्ट में भी कीपर रख के जगह पक्की क्यों ना कर दी जाये ??— CA.Praveen🇮🇳 (@kpraveenca) February 8, 2023
Wrong 11 bhaiya ji, Gill ke itni achhi form me hone ke bad bhi bahar bithana stupidity hogi, Sky achha player hai,ho sakta hai bahut achha bhi khele lekin sidha hi test debut karana sahi nahi hoga.— Rajasthan Royals Fans Army™ - RR Fan Club (@RoyalsFansArmy) February 8, 2023