IND vs AUS 2023: The first test between India and Australia is inching closer as the teams are finalising their training and gearing up for the high-profile test series. The Indian team hosts Australia in the first Test in Nagpur and some special preparations are going in the Indian camp to counter the Aussie challenge. The team's head coach Rahul Dravid has given a special mantra to star batter Shubman Gill, who is likely to feature in the series opener on 9th February.
Ahead of the 1st Test, Dravid was seen giving special advise on sweeping the ball to Gill. The Indian coach devoted a considerable amount of time with Gill and was seen telling the various methods to keep the sweep down with some shadow batting. The young Indian batter was also advised on how to avoid offering a catch to forward short leg or leg gully. While Gill and Kohli practised the sweep shot, Cheteshwar Pujara was trying to negate the balls outside the off stump with a big forward stride.
Meanwhile, Gill was later seen fielding at forward short leg. He is in brilliant touch in limited-overs cricket and has impressed with his outings in Test cricket too. But he faces competition from KL Rahul for a slot in the opening. The Indian vice-captain Rahul also opened up on the team's preparation and also on his batting position. "The things that we have worked on is playing spin, and we know the pitches are going to play here in India and what to expect. Keeping that in mind, we have practised playing spin," Rahul said to the media.
Speaking in a press conference ahead of the first Test, Rahul said that he is ready to play in the middle order if the team management wants him to do so. “If the team wants me to bat in the middle, I am ready to do it," Rahul said to the media. He also opened up on the team combination that is likely to feature in the opening Test. The Indian vice-captain reportedly said that the playing XI is yet to be confirmed as there are a few slots to be filled. “Playing XI not decided, it is a tough decision as there a couple of slots available," he added.
Rahul admitted that the team will be tempted to play three spinners but added the pitch will decide the combination. "There will be a temptation to play three spinners because of turning pitches in India but we would know the pitch on the day of the game," he said.