Australia 57/0 from 21 overs:
Fifty up for Australia! Warner and Renshaw continue to hold fort on a spinner-friendly track in Pune. While some deliveries have missed the outside edges of the bat, the Australia duo is doing a fine job not to give India easy chances.
Australia 40/0 from 15 overs:
Australia have made a cautious start as David Warner and Matt Renshaw do a fine job on a track which is turning from day one. While Renshaw had a few nervous moments as India opted for a DRS, he is doing a fine job to stay in the middle.
Pune: Australia have won the toss and elected to bat in the first Test against India at the Maharashtra Cricket Association Stadium here on Thursday.
Virat Kohli, who said that India would have liked to bat first on the wicket which is predicted to turn from ball one, have picked three spinners in the side as Jayant Yadav will accompany R Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja. Bhuvneshwar Kumar, who was a part of India’s playing XI in the one-off Test against Bangladesh, misses out on a place in the team as Umesh Yadav and Ishant Sharma will take care of the pace attack.
Australia have included two pacers in the team with all-rounder Mitchell Marsh chipping in as the third pacer as the trio will accompany Nathan Lyon and Stephen O’Keefe, who will be a part of two-man spin attack.
Maharashtra Cricket Association Stadium is all in readiness to host its first ever Test as Virat Kohli-led India take on Steve Smith’s Australia here on Thursday in the first of four-Test series.
India, who have not lost a game in their last 19 Tests, will be keen to continue their unbeaten run while Australia, who are rebuilding the side, will try to get over the troubles in the sub-continent. Smith, the Australian skipper, had predicted that the Pune pitch will assist the spinners from ball one and hence, it will be interesting to see how many spinners both the teams pick in their playing XI.
While India have the likes of R Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Jayant Yadav and Kuldeep Yadav in their ranks, it is certain that Kohli, if he decides to field three spinners, will include Jayant to accompany Ashwin and Jadeja. Smith, on the other hand, may ponder to include Glenn Maxwell, who can bowl off-spin, only one from the trio of Ashton Agar, Stephen O’Keefe and Mitchell Swepson is likely to be picked to partner Nathan Lyon in the side.
India: Virat Kohli (captain), Murali Vijay, KL Rahul, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane, Wriddhiman Saha (wicketkeeper), Ravichandaran Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Ishant Sharma, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Umesh Yadav, Karun Nair, Jayant Yadav, Kuldeep Yadav, Abhinav Mukund, Hardik Pandya.
Australia: Steve Smith (captain), David Warner (vice-captain), Ashton Agar, Jackson Bird, Peter Handscomb, Josh Hazlewood, Usman Khawaja, Nathan Lyon, Mitchell Marsh, Shaun Marsh, Glenn Maxwell, Stephen O’Keefe, Matthew Renshaw, Mitchell Starc, Mitchell Swepson, Matthew Wade (wicketkeeper).
Match commences at 09:30 hours IST.
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