Murali Kartik forms his Indian XI for the Test series

Murali Kartik forms his Indian XI for the Test series

He wants the team to back the players who've done well in the recent past.

Murali Kartik
Murali Kartik. (Photo Source: Twitter)

India’s tour of Australia kickstarted with the first T20 international at Gabba on November 21. While the hosts successfully defended the target, the visitors surely got really close to scaling it down. However, the buzz has been around the four-match Test series that these teams will play. There’s no doubt that the level of competition will be really high when both the teams step out in whites.

Team India will want to identify the right kind of combination ahead of the first Test in Adelaide. Former Indian cricketer Murali Kartik picked his XI for the opening game and has also made a prediction on how he thinks the pitch will play. He also discussed the various possible combinations and also backed vice-captain Ajinkya Rahane to come good despite his poor form in the recent few months.

I would go with Jadeja and Ashwin if India play two spinners

On the England tour, Ravichandran Ashwin was the first choice spinner for the first four Tests. However, he was discontinued after a poor show at Southampton. Ravindra Jadeja picked 7 wickets and also scored unbeaten 86 in the final Test. Hence, Kartik feels that Jadeja cannot be dropped for the Adelaide Test. He also put Ashwin above chinaman Kuldeep Yadav if India want to go in with two spin options

“If you look at Jadeja’s performance in Test cricket, there is no reason for him to get dropped. At the Oval, he contributed with the bat and ball. All these things add for continuity which is very important for the team. I would go with Ashwin and Jadeja if the need for playing two spinners arises. Some would say Kuldeep should play. There is a general perception that Adelaide and Sydney are more suitable to spinners but it is not necessary because these pitches are flat tracks,” he was quoted as saying on Firstpost.

Shaw and Rahul have done well to be retained

Prithvi Shaw who made his debut in the West Indies series was phenomenal at the top with a century and a half century. While KL Rahul failed against the Caribbeans, he also played a spectacular inning of 149 at the Oval. Karthik was of the opinion that India shouldn’t tinker the opening combination despite the fact that they again have Murali Vijay in the side.

“You have given a chance to Shaw who has done well in the two Test matches he played. Rahul just got a hundred recently. Yes, Murali Vijay’s record in Australia is good but he was dropped after the two Test matches in England and other people have done well. So, I don’t think there should be any change in the first Test match when it comes to the opening combination,” the former left-arm spinner added.

Rahane will be back in his zone once he gets amongst the runs

Ajinkya Rahane has been going through a rough patch for a considerable period now. The vice-captain hasn’t posted a single century in his last 21 innings. Even his batting average has been on a decline. Kartik backed the 30-year-old to find his groove soon and get going. He feels that Rahane will be instrumental for his team in the Tests.

“With Rahane, it is a mental thing. I don’t think it is any technical thing. He is a rock solid player. He is a well-established player. He is the vice-captain of the side. He is a calm head whom the captain turns to. Once he gets into the habit of scoring big runs, he will back in his zone,” Kartik concluded.

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