India skipper Rohit Sharma has opened up on the Indian team’s selection ahead of the first Test in Nagpur, which kick starts on Thursday (February 9). According to Rohit, it is tough to leave someone out of the team which competition for places a key reason. The Indian team is likely to make key twists in the position of Shubman Gill and KL Rahul while Ishan Kishan and Suryakumar Yadav could also feature.
The first Test between India and Australia will take place from February 9 onwards at Vidarbha Cricket Association Stadium. The four-match Test series against Australia is one of the most eagerly-anticipated series for some time, with the result also set to have a decisive impact on qualification for the ICC World Test Championship Final.
Rohit insists there is competition for places
"It is tough. The guys are in good form, pushing for a spot and doing really well, and it is tough to leave some out," Rohit Sharma said in a pre-match press conference in Nagpur.
Rohit said that it is a good sign that players are performing well and all options are open as different pitches need different skill sets.
"But it is a good sign overall that all the guys are performing well and in with a chance for selection. But we will see the conditions and pick teams accordingly. Different pitches would need different skillset. The message is clear, we would take horses for course and all options are open," said the India captain.
One of the big selection discussions surrounding the India team will be if and where Shubman Gill plays in the batting order. The youngster has been in superb form in white-ball cricket and scored an excellent century in Bangladesh in the first Test of that series in December.
There are claims that the hosts in India prepare a wicket that overwhelmingly favours them each time a Test series is played there. Just one day before the India-Australia Border-Gavaskar series kicks off in Nagpur, a few Australian "experts" have accused India with "doctoring" the field to favour their team, clearing the air on this, the Indian captain said, "Just focus on cricket and not the pitch. After all the 22 guys out there are all quality players."
"We have four solid test matches to play in the BGT and we would want to win the series. It is going to be a challenging series and we have to be up for it. Preparation is the key. If you prepare well, you get results," Rohit added.
India captain suggested that the Indian camp are expecting spinning conditions, and the skipper of both teams could try different things and change bowlers accordingly.
"It is important to have a plan and figure a way. Everyone has a different method. Some like to sweep some reverse some hitting over the bowler. You need to rotate strike and sometimes you need to counterattack. The captains would obviously try different things and change fields and bowlers. So you need to plan and play accordingly," said India captain.
ALSO READ | IND vs AUS 1st Test: Rahul Dravid's 'Gurumantra' for Shubman Gill on how to tackle spinners
India squad: (for the first two Tests) Rohit Sharma (c), KL Rahul (vc), Shubman Gill, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli, Shreyas Iyer, KS Bharat, Ishan Kishan, Ravichandran Ashwin, Axar Patel, Kuldeep Yadav, Ravindra Jadeja, Mohammed Shami, Mohammed Siraj, Umesh Yadav, Jaydev Unadkat and Suryakumar Yadav.
Australia squad: Pat Cummins (c), Ashton Agar, Scott Boland, Alex Carey, Cameron Green, Peter Handscomb, Josh Hazlewood, Travis Head, Usman Khawaja, Marnus Labuschagne, Nathan Lyon, Lance Morris, Todd Murphy, Matthew Renshaw, Steve Smith (vc), Mitchell Starc, Mitchell Swepson and David Warner.