IND vs AUS 2023: India and Australia are set to lock horns in a four-match Border-Gavaskar Trophy starting from 9th February. India, who are the current holders of the trophy, have some tough selection calls to make for the opening Test in Nagpur. Meanwhile, India's vice-captain KL Rahul has provided a major update on team combination and his batting order.
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.
'Temptation to play three spinners' Rahul
There is a big talk about which and how many spinners India will opt to go with. Rahul cleared the team's thoughts on this. He 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. Rahul was also asked whether the Indian team could play a more expressive brand of cricket than it usually is in Test matches. Rahul didn't rule that out but insisted that it will be dependent on the situation.
"If the situation demands us to play freely we will go for it else we stick to the regular Test cricket batting template. It is basically trying to work out a plan between the batters in the middle," he added.
There are some slots up for grabs in the Indian team. In Rishabh Pant's and Shreyas Iyer's (from the first test) absence, the team can try players like Srikar Bharat, Suryakumar Yadav and Ishan Kishan. There was also a toss-up between Rahul and Shubman Gill for the opening place, but if the former bats in middle, Gill shall be an automatic pick to open along with captain Rohit. The middle order can feature Bharat along with three spinners- Axar, Ashwin and Jadeja, all of whom are capable batters. India can also try Yadav in the middle if a situation arises to score quickly. Playing Kuldeep as third spinner is also a ggod option as Ravi Shastri recently advocated the move. What the team does on 9th February is up for speculation and is to be seen in Nagpur.