The much-awaited Border Gavaskar Trophy (BGT) 2023 is around the corner as the first Test match of the four-match series will take place at Vidarbha Cricket Association Stadium in Nagpur on Thursday, February 9.
The series against Australia is a crucial one for India because their hopes to reach the World Test Championship (WTC) 2023 final depend on the result of this series. India needs to defeat the Aussies either 3-0 or better to reach the summit clash of the championship.
Meanwhile, Australia are at the top of the WTC points table, but they also haven’t completely sealed their spot for the final. Therefore, both the teams would look to start their leg on a winning note and enter the field with their best eleven players in the first Test.
However, it would be a tough challenge for India as their two premier players, Rishabh Pant and Jasprit Bumrah, wouldn’t be part of the series due to injuries. Bumrah might still make a comeback in the third test, but Pant is currently on bed rest following a car crash and wouldn’t be available for the whole series.
Shreyas Iyer has also been ruled out of the opening game, and hence the batting of hosts will fully rely on Rohit Sharma, KL Rahul, Virat Kohli, Cheteshwar Pujara and Shubman Gill.
On the other hand, Australia would be entering the first game with a full-strength line-up consisting of Usman Khawaja, David Warner and Steve Smith supported by world no. 1 test batter Marnus Labuschagne.
Talking about the bowling, the Indian pace attack is expected to be led by Mohammad Shami, while Ravichandran Ashwin will guide the spin department. On the other hand, the world’s top Test bowler Pat Cummins and spinner Nathan Lyon will lead the Australian bowling attack.
On that note, let’s have a look at the best eleven of both the teams:
India: Rohit Sharma (c), Shubman Gill, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli, KL Rahul, KS Bharat (wk), Ravindra Jadeja, Ravichandran Ashwin, Mohammed Siraj, Umesh Yadav, Jaydev Unadkat.
Australia: Usman Khawaja, David Warner, Marnus Labuschagne, Steve Smith, Alex Carey (wk), Travis Head, Ashton Agar, Nathan Lyon, Pat Cummins (c), Josh Hazlewood, Scott Boland.
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