New Delhi, December 5: On the eve of their opening Test match against Australia, India on Wednesday (December 4) announced their 12-member squad for the Adelaide Test, starting December 6.
Team India picked up a spinner in Ravichandran Ashwin and three pacers in Mohammed Shami, Ishant Sharma, Jasprit Bumrah.
Since batting has been a concern for the Indians on the overseas tours off late, the team management has focused to strengthen it. India have picked up 7 batsmen, including wicketkeeper-batsman Rishabh Pant, in the 12-member squad.
Murali Vijay and KL Rahul will be opening the innings for India while the middle order will comprise Cheteshwar Pujara, Rohit Sharma, Ajinkya Rahane, Virat Kohli and Hanuma Vihari.
Meanwhile, Australia too have named their XI for the opening Test and didn't pick up all-rounder Mitchell Marsh.
Here's Australia XI for the first Test: Marcus Harris, Aaron Finch, Usman Khawaja, Shaun Marsh, Peter Handscomb, Travis Head, Tim Paine (c), Pat Cummins, Mitchell Starc, Nathan Lyon, Josh Hazlewood.
Here Mykhel looks at the Probable India XI for Adelaide Test:
1. Murali Vijay
In the absence of the injured Prithvi Shaw, the responsibility to open innings will be on the shoulders of Murali Vijay and KL Rahul. Vijay - who was dropped half-way through England tour and ignored against the West Indies - was recalled for the Australia tour.
Vijay scored a ton in the practice match against Cricket Australia XI and the seasoned campaigner's return to form must have cheered the team management up.
2. KL Rahul
KL Rahul, on the other hand, isn't going with the best of forms. Except for that gritty century against England in the second innings of the fifth and final Test, the Karnataka batsman has hardly played any substantial knock in the year 2018.
The Australia tour offers him an opportunity to regain his form and play some memorable knocks. A positive start will always be crucial for India in the tour Down Under against Australia's quality bowling attack.
3. Cheteshwar Pujara
The right-handed batsman will be coming in to bat one down. Pujara, who is looking in good touch, will be important for India's success in Australia.
Pujara, who is going to be a Test regular in this series, slammed just one ton in England and he must be eager to improve his overseas' record. In three Tests he has played in Australia, Pujara has scored just 201 runs at an average of 33.50. He must be looking to improve the numbers, this time around.
4. Virat Kohli
All eyes will be on the captain charismatic who is in a form of a lifetime at the moment. Kohli was the leading run-getter from the two sides during India's tour of England with 593 runs in 10 innings.
The right-handed batsman has always been hailed as Australia's Nemesis with the willow and under his leadership, he must be looking to win India their first Test series on the Australian side.
5. Ajinkya Rahane
The vice-captain has been able to get some starts in Tests but failed to convert them into big knocks, lately. The right-handed batsman from Mumbai has slammed just three half-centuries from 15 innings in the year 2018 must be hoping to slam a ton in the year 2018.
Rahane slammed a ton in the Melbourne Test when India toured Australia last time.
6. Rohit Sharma
The right-handed batsman, who also happens to be the vice-captain in the limited-overs' format, was recalled in the side considering his imperious form.
The Mumbaikar has been in phenomenal form with the white ball and team management must be hoping the fast pitches of Australia would suit his batting style.
Rohit was dropped from the Test squad for not doing well during Test series in South Africa. But then, no Indian batsman except Virat Kohli performed well in South Africa. Rohit now has an opportunity to contribute with the bat and cement his position in the longer format of the game.
7. Rishabh Pant
The talented wicketkeeper-batsman from Delhi will be batting at No. 7. His flamboyant style of play lower-down the order makes him an exciting batsman and it will be interesting to see how the youngster performs on his maiden tour of Australia.
However, Pant, the wicketkeeper, will be under strict scrutiny for he hasn't been as good with the gloves.
8. R Ashwin
The senior spinner has once again been preferred over Ravindra Jadeja - who is ranked higher in Test rankings than him - and Kuldeep Yadav - who is considered the X-factor.
There will be a lot of responsibility on the shoulders of the off-spinner who has been India's strength in the Tests.
However, the pitches in Australia won't be too supportive for Ashwin and it will be interesting to see how well the Tamil Nadu spinner does at the pace-friendly track of Adelaide.
9. Mohammad Shami
The Bengal pacer has been preferred over Bhuvneshwar Kumar for the first Test as the fast pitches of Australia will assist him more.
Shami was key to India's famous win at Wanderers as he rattled the South African batting order in the second innings.
Shami toured with the team during the previous series Down Under in 2014-15 and his experience must come in handy for the team against Aussies.
10. Ishant Sharma
The Delhi-pacer is touring Australia for the fourth time for the Test series. He will be leading India's pace battery against the Aussies in the Adelaide Test. The right-arm pacer can generate the pace and bounce from the fast Australian tracks. Ishant has loved bowling in Australia and the team would be hoping he continues to lead the pack.
11. Jasprit Bumrah
The pacer from Gujarat will be playing his maiden Test series in Australia and all eyes are on him as to how he's going to perform.
Bumrah made his Test debut in January 2018 but gives an impression as if he's played more than 50 Tests already.
In 6 Tests he has picked up 28 wickets and everybody feels he's going to be an exponent of the game in Australia.
Hanuma Vihari might not be picked up for the first Test match despite scoring a fifty in the practice gam against Cricket Australia XI. Seems, Vihari - who slammed a fifty on his debut in testing conditions in England - will have to further wait for his opportunity.