India and Australia are two of the leading contenders to square off in the inaugural ICC test championship final next year. The outcome of this four-test series starting with a day-night, pink ball match in Adelaide on Thursday could have a significant role in determining the spots in the final. There’s points on the line in every test match, just to add to the tension.
Australia coach Justin Langer described the rivalry between India and Australia as a tough but fair one. He compared it with the Ashes contests which, for a long time, were considered the pinnacle for test cricket for the Australia and England teams. It goes way back and its a really great rivalry for world cricket,” Langer, a former test opener, said Tuesday of the contests with India. “Ive said many times beating India in India in 2004 was the Mount Everest of my personal career.
“The games played in good spirit, but its a great rivalry. Cant wait, bring it on, just literally bring on Thursday and for the next four test matches because its really as good as it gets in terms of test cricket with the Ashes. I think.
India captain Virat Kohli, one of the leading protagonists in the burgeoning rivalry, will only be available for the first test. So for India, it’s more important than usual to start off the series with a win.
Rahane will deputize for the later tests for Kohli, who is returning to India to be with his wife, who is expecting the couple’s first child in next month.
Australia and India shared the honors in the white-ball phase of the tour Australia won the one-day international series and India won the Twenty20 series. India squads also played two tour matches, including a day-nighter in Sydney.
Rahane, who scored an unbeaten 117 in the first of the tour games, said India’s attack led by paceman Jasprit Bumrah is ready to match it with an Australian bowling unit likely to include paceman Mitch Starc, Pat Cummins and Josh Hazlewood and spinner Nathan Lyon.
We do have a strong attack … they know how to bowl in these conditions, he said. For now, Rahane’s not thinking about how he’ll be leading the team. He can save that for the second test in Melbourne. I believe in staying in the moment, he said. Right now, Virat is our captain … its about me giving my best in this test
and helping Virat out. After that, well discuss our plan.