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Australia vs India, 1st Test day 1, Match Prediction: What will be the final score on day 1?

There is plenty to play for in the series, for both the teams.

Virat Kohli and Tim Paine pose with the Border–Gavaskar Trophy
Virat Kohli and Tim Paine pose with the Border Gavaskar Trophy. (Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images)

The much hyped and much awaited India-Australia Test series is here. The beautiful Adelaide Oval is ready to soak in all the action as the Kangaroos go head to head against the no.1 team in the world. There is plenty to play for in the series, for both the teams. While for India, it’s an opportunity to become the first Asian team to win a Test series down under, Australia will be looking to recover from the back to back losses against South Africa and Pakistan.

All the troubles that Australia have had in Test cricket in the recent past, it’s been away from home. However, in their own backyard, they are different beats. They probably don’t start as firm favourites this time around, one thing is for sure that India are not going to have it easy.

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Pitch and conditions

There is a little bit of grass on the Adelaide pitch, but that’s not lively grass. It’s a drop-in pitch and looks quite dry underneath. The summer is at its peak in South Australia at this time of the year and the heat is going to make sure that the deck wears down going towards the end of day 4.

The spinners might come into play in the second innings of the Test match, but it will be a beautiful batting strip for the first three days with minimal or no lateral movement off the surface. The team winning the toss will like to bat first.

Team Combination

Australia

Australia have generally been playing an all-rounder in most of the home games in the past so that the frontline fast bowlers can be rotated and can be used in short bursts. However, for this game, they have picked Peter Handscomb over Mitchell Marsh. Clarifying the rationale behind the selection, the captain Tim Paine said there would be enough help from the Adelaide Oval deck that the fifth bowler won’t be needed.

Peter Handscomb will have a point to prove at his comeback, while Aaron Finch will also to show that he can open the batting in red ball cricket in all conditions. He played decently in the UAE, but those were different conditions with the pitches being quite low and slow. Australia will pose a different challenge.

Probable XI: Aaron Finch, Marcus Harris, Usman Khawaja, Shaun Marsh, Travis Head, Peter Handscomb, Tim Paine (C), Pat Cummins, Mitchell Starc, Nathan Lyon, Josh Hazlewood

India

India have already named their 12 and there are just 4 bowlers in there which means the visitors are going with the combination of 7-4 rather than 6-5 which many people thought would have been appropriate keeping the hot weather conditions in mind.

The competition for the 6th batsman’s position is between Rohit Sharma and Hanuma Vihari. While the protocol says it’s going to be Vihari, Virat Kohli is not one of those skippers who necessarily follow the protocol. He goes with his gut feel a lot and considering Rohit’s back-foot play and his superior ability to tackle pace and bounce, he might be tempted to go with his limited-overs deputy.

However the fact that Vihari can bowl a little bit of off sin and provides an extra bowling option, something which the Indian captain loves to have up his sleeve in all formats of the game, the selection of the Hyderabad youngster can’t be ruled out totally. It’s a close call.

Probable XI: Murali Vijay, KL Rahul, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli, Ajinkya Rahane, Rohit Sharma, Rishabh Pant, Ravichandran Ashwin, Ishant Sharma, Mohammed Shami, Jasprit Bumrah

Players to watch out for

Australia: Usman Khawaja, Nathan Lyon

India: Virat Kohli, Jasprit Bumrah

Final prediction for day 1

The team which wins the toss will have the best batting conditions available on day 1. The ball will come nicely on to the bat at a good pace and it will be possible to hit through the line. Since both India and Australia play attacking cricket, the run rate should hover around 3.5-4 through the course of the day, whichever team bats.

The pace attack of the two teams is powerful as well. So the wickets are bound to fall despite the flat nature of the surface. The final scoreline of the team batting first at the end of Day 1 should be somewhere around 300 at the loss of 6 wickets.

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