Australia vs India - 1st Test Match Preview & Prediction

Australia vs India - 1st Test Match Preview & Prediction

Either way, Paine acknowledged that arguably the key "chess match" of the series when Australia were in the field would involve India's efforts to attack Lyon in order to force him to bring his fast men back earlier than intended.

Australia sprang a surprise by axing all-rounder Mitch Marsh on Wednesday for the first Test against India, as Usman Khawaja's return was confirmed despite the shock of his brother's arrest. However, he must get his other batters to perform if he is to grab the crowning glory of India's first Test series victory in Australia.

An Australia-India test series never seems to disappoint cricket fans looking for as much news off the field as on.

Captain Tim Paine said Marsh's omission was due to a lack of consistency and he would benefit from returning to Sheffield Shield cricket to find form again.

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"Mitch Marsh probably hasn't been as consistent as he would like and we would like", Paine said, confirming that Marsh would be a likely inclusion later on in the Test summer.

"Normally, Australian teams like to bat first".

"Going forward we've got full faith in him being a Test all-rounder and as this series wears on and we get to places where the wicket might be a bit flatter and conditions might be a little warmer and our bowlers a bit exhausted then the all-rounder position becomes important".

The Aussie batting may be in tatters but they have four world class bowlers in Josh Hazlewood, Mitchell Starc, Pat Cummins and spinner Nathan Lyon.

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"There has been so much talk in the last 10 months that everyone is sick of it", he said ahead of Australia's first home Test since "sandpapergate", where Smith, Warner and Cameron Bancroft tried to alter the ball in South Africa.

"The quicks are going to have a bowl a bit more and we have full faith that Nathan Lyon can do the job".

"They're a good team and they've got a couple of great players and we will show them great respect", he said.

They have made a significant change to their team by dropping one of their frontline bowlers and going with just four - Ashwin, Shami, Sharma and Bumrah - which may mean Hanuma Vihari gets the nod at number six to add another part-time spin option if required.

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Though selectors will be mindful of keeping Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazlewood and Pat Cummins available all series, they believe their prized quicks can shoulder an extra workload while fresh.

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