Back in 2014, the last time Indian Cricket team visited Australia to play the 12th edition of Border-Gavaskar Trophy the results did not go in India’s favor as they lost the series to Australians by 2-0. Australia clinched their 5th title in the past 18 years.
The Four-match Test series was scheduled to start on December 4 at Brisbane, but it got postponed due to the death of Phillip Hughes a left-handed batsman who got struck by a bouncer that hit him on the side of the head, below the helmet. The funeral for the batsmen was kept on December 3 a day before the opening Match of the series, so the match was shifted to Adelaide on December 9.
Indian Team Selection for the tour.
Team India went on with a 19-man squad for the series which had not one but three wicket-keeping options where Naman Ojha was included as a backup for Wriddhiman Saha, as the then Indian skipper MS Dhoni was not part of the team in the first test due to an injury. So Virat Kohli was appointed as a tentative captain. It was a debut series for youngsters like KL Rahul and Karn Sharma.
1st Test Match.
Australia won the toss and elected to bat. Centuries by David Warner(145), Steve Smith(162*) and captain Michael Clarke(128) helped Australia to post a total of 517. India lost the match by 48 runs despite Virat Kohli scoring 115 and 141 in both the innings respectively. Nathan Lyon starred as the man of the match as he picked 12 wickets in both the innings.
2nd Test Match.
MSD was back as captain and wicket-keeper in the second test.
Cheteshwar Pujara was given out for caught behind the wicket to Josh Hazlewood as his first wicket in his debut match for Australia and he later went on to end his bowling figures with 5/68 which restricted India for a total of 408. The replay for Pujara’s wicket showed the ball came off the batsman’s helmet.
Unfortunately, Pujara could not do anything but walk straight away as BCCI had opposed the implementation of DRS (Decision Review System) in the test series eventually Australia won the game by 4 wickets with Steven Smith as the man of the match.
3rd Test Match & MSD retires from Test forever.
In the third test Steve Smith won the toss and decided to bat first, Steve Smith just fell 8 runs short to post his first double-ton as he was dismissed for 192 by Umesh Yadav.
The match was drawn as Australians failed to pick all the wickets of Indians in the fourth innings. On the end of day 5 MS Dhoni (24*)walked off the ground along with Ravichandran Ashwin(8*) ensuring a draw in his last test match, it was revealed after the match that the skipper had decided to retire from the format, which was big shock for all the Indian fans and players all over the world. It left the Indian squad inexperienced.
The captain cool ended his last test series with 68 runs in 4 innings and contributed in 14 dismissals by taking 13 catches and a single stumping of Mitchell Johnson in the third test.
Virat Kohli took over the captaincy from there on. The fourth test was the first face off for the top scoring batsman from both sides Kohli and Smith to face off as captains for the first time. This match also ended as a draw where India fiercely replied to Australia’s innings of 572, where KL Rahul scored his maiden test-century followed by Virat’s spontaneous knock of 147 which was his 4th century in the series.
What we Predict
It would be the first time in this decade where Indian team would be going to Australia without MS Dhoni as Captain of the Squad. India are favorites to win based on their performances in the last two foreign tours how tough situations they created for South Africa and England.
Australia will be without their top-run scorers and most experienced players Steve Smith and David Warner who are currently serving the 12-month ban imposed by Cricket Australia because of their involvement in the ball-tampering scandal earlier this year.
It will give India an advantage to win their first test series in Australia.
With the inclusion of Jasprit Bumrah and Kuldeep Yadav in the squad alongside Ishant Sharma, Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Mohammed Shami with spin duo Ashwin and Jadeja, Virat Kohli has plenty of options and combination to try in the upcoming 4 match Test series which begins on December 6 at Adelaide Oval from 5:30 (IST).
|1st Test||06/12/18–10/12/18||Adelaide Oval, Adelaide.||5:30 AM|
|2nd Test||14/12/18–18/12/18||Perth Stadium,Perth.||8:00 AM|
|3rd Test||26/12/18–30/12/18||Melbourne Cricket Ground, Melbourne.||5:00 AM|
|4th Test||03/01/19-07/01/19||Sydney Cricket Ground, Sydney.||5:00 AM|
Note: All the timings mentioned in the schedule are according to Indian Standard Timings. There can be a probability of timings being changed.