India vs Australia Test series: Four youngsters to watch out for
With the limited-overs series done and dusted, Australia and India reconvene for the highly-anticipated Border-Gavaskar Test series that begins on December 17.
The timely return of Rohit Sharma is a major boost to India’s hopes of repeating their success from 2018-19 tour of Australia, while the Aussies are working against the clock to reduce their injury list that reportedly includes Sean Abbott as the latest entrant.
The young talents on either teams’ roster are slated to make an impact at some point in the upcoming India vs Australia Test series and we take a look at the four ambitious players who onlookers will be keen to put their bet on.
While Rohit Sharma’s return to fitness puts him in contention to start in the Test series, India are likely to have Prithvi Shaw partner Mayank Agarwal upfront. The 21-year-old missed the tour of Australia two years ago due to an ankle injury, and the youngster is backed to excel in the four-game series, despite his inconsistencies.
Looking back at his Test debut in 2018, where he hit a confident 134 against West Indies, Shaw has shown glimpses of his attributes as a quality opener and he will be keen to produce confident performances against Australia.
Australian all-rounder Cameron Green recently made the headlines for a massive injury scare during the practice match against India A, but as per the official news from Australian cricket team doctor Pip Inge, the 21-year-old is ‘on course’ to make a return to the team.
The 21-year-old has featured in 21 List-A matches, scoring 1321 runs at an impressive average of 55.04, and while he is expected to miss the first Test, Green, who has been likened to Ben Stokes-like figure by compatriot Josh Hazlewood, is tipped to play a pivotal role in the latter half of the Border-Gavaskar series.
Like Prithvi Shaw, Shubman Gill is a subject of a selection conundrum for India in the Australia-India Test series. However, in contrast to Shaw, 21-year-old Gill has impressed the onlookers and is pushing hard to earn his first Test cap for the Men in Blue.
Shubman Gill, with scores of 33, 0 and 29 from the practice matches against Australia A, can bat at any position in the top and middle order, and with a confident average of 69.74 from 22 first-class matches, the Punjab-born batsman is well-placed to make a lasting impression in the Test series.
Rishabh Pant, who has since long been deemed as a successor to MS Dhoni, will aim to make a strong statement in the Australia-India series. The 23-year-old, who recently notched a century in the practice match, has aggregated 350 runs in four trips to the Australian shores, with his unbeaten 159 at Sydney in 2018 being one of the driving points for the Men in Blue to seal their first-ever Test series win down under.
Pant is likely to switch in and out of the Indian squad with Wriddhiman Saha, but the Uttarakhand-born wicketkeeper-batsman is favoured to make the most of his starting opportunities in the Test series.
Feature image courtesy: AFP / Marty Melville