The rivalries are up again for the Border Gavaskar trophy 2018-19. It is a four-match test series to be held in four cities of Australia starting from 6th December 2018. With the absence of David Warner and Steve Smith for Australia, it’s going to be a tough test for Australia. Still, Australia is the favorite due to the home advantage. Here are the top 5 players from each team to watch out for :
#1 Rishabh Pant
Rishabh Pant is a dominating player by nature who can hit boundaries at will at any moment of the game.
He debuted earlier this year in tough England conditions. He made a mark in the final Test when he hit 114 off 146 balls. He was in a 204 run partnership with KL Rahul. Although India lost the match as well as the series, India returned with few positives and Pant was one among them. He is a perfect game changer that India has got.
Rishabh Pant is still not a complete player but he surely has the capability to become one of the greatest the country has ever produced. It will be his real test to conquer both wicket-keeping and batting in the India XI.
#2 Prithvi Shaw
Shaw made a magnificent start to his International career by hitting a century and half-century in the two innings he played against the West Indies. Though reasons like subcontinent pitch . can be regarded for his successful start, he seems to have the capability to shine in overseas tours too.
The series against Australia could be the perfect platform for the champ to showcase his skills in Overseas too. Unfortunately, he cannot play the first two tests due to his ankle injury.
#3 KL Rahul
If you look at his records it gives more of a reflection that KL Rahul has not been himself for a long time now. A player who has shown such capability and such potential averages have been out of form since mid-2018.
With Prithvi Shaw’s dominance yet again in the practice match against the Australia XI, Rahul is slowly losing his spot as the opener. With Rahul getting a game due to Prithvi Shaw’s injury, it seems that it may be his last chance to showcase his talent. He might play the first two tests for now.
#4 Rohit Sharma
Rohit Sharma is a superstar in limited overs cricket. But at the same time, he has just not shined in Test cricket.
Rohit is struggling to toggle himself from the limited overs to the red ball format.
It’s hard to find fault and pinpoint what Rohit Sharma lacks to succeed in Test cricket, but it does look like this could be the last roll of the dice for him in Tests.
With his good form in the shorter format, hope he continues well in the test series too.
#5 Kuldeep Yadav
Chinaman spinner Kuldeep Yadav was the star of the show for India in the T20I series against Australia, taking four wickets in three matches.
He has been a revelation for India in the shorter formats of the game and has consistently troubled opposition batsmen with his variety.
He has played five Test matches, taking 19 wickets. During the home series against West Indies, Yadav picked his first five-wicket haul in Test cricket.
The left-arm leggie would be a big threat for Australia in the Australian conditions.
#1 Pat Cummins
The 25-year-old could be dubbed as a match-winner for Australia in the forthcoming Test series. Pat Cummins emerged as the most consistent of the quicks earlier this year – a testament to his years of hard work to overcome the injuries that hampered the early parts of his career.
Considering his stats in the red-ball format where he averages 23.82 and has 66 wickets and 2 five-wicket hauls to his name, all in a matter of 14 Tests speaks of his expertise in the red-ball cricket.
#2 Josh Hazlewood
Josh Hazlewood, having featured in 40 Tests for Australia, Hazlewood has already shown signs of being a descendant to McGrath. He has picked 151 wickets at an average of 26.85 in the 40 Tests.
Returning to the test team after the South African series in March 2018, Hazlewood will be the bowler to watch out for in the Australian squad and will be seen if he can create disasters in the Indian batting line-up.
He is sure to be a trump card in the bowling line-up of Australia as he will look to better his record to end 2018 on a high note.
#3 Usman Khawaja
Usman Khawaja is another opener in the list who is indeed an exciting player of the game and has numerous record to his name.
When David Warner was banned for a year, Khawaja was promoted to the top, and fortunately, he made the most out of the opportunity and stands as a pillar for the Australian top order.
In the absence of Steve Smith and David Warner, Khawaja will be key for the Australian batting to shine.
#4 Peter Handscomb
Peter Handscomb is one of the many talented Australian wicket-keeper batsmen doing the rounds in the domestic circuit.
After a long break of almost 9 months, he was included in the test team again.
He was sent to remodel his technique last summer and has enjoyed a fruitful domestic season thus far. He performed well for Melbourne stars in the big bash league.
#5. Mitchell Starc
The injured plagued left-arm fast bowler recovered from his injury three weeks before. Now he has come fit for the Border Gavaskar trophy and can give big blows to the Indian batting line-up.
Recently Starc was released from KKR, Starc quoted that he is going to focus more on playing Tests for Australia. It would be interesting to see how he goes about his game.
Starc along with Pat Cummins and Josh Hazlewood can skin out the Indian batting line up in no matter of time in known conditions.