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5 Australians to watch out for in India Tests

December 12, 2020 10:02 IST
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The high-profile Australia vs India four-match Test series begins in Adelaide on December 17.

India will be hoping to repeat their success of two years ago when they registered their first-ever Test series win in Australia, while the hosts would be keen to avenge that loss.

Marnus Labuschagne will be expected to continue his good form in Tests, while Mitchell Starc would be aiming to bounce back after a poor showing in the limited overs series against India.

A look at five Australian players to watch out for:

MITCHELL STARC

Mitchell Starc

IMAGE: Mitchell Starc was roughed up by India's batsmen in the recent limited overs series. Photograph: Mark Kolbe/Getty Images

Renowned for his express pace and searing yorkers, Starc will be desperate to make amends after a poor 2018/19 series against India when he was thoroughly outshone by their bowlers on home pitches.

The left-armer returned to top form last summer against Pakistan and New Zealand but has had a shaky start to the current season, being roughed up by India's batsmen in the recent limited overs series.

 

Excused from the final T20s for personal reasons, Australia will be hoping Starc can fix his radar in time for Adelaide.

DAVID WARNER

Australia will be sweating on the fitness of their veteran opener, who will miss at least the first Test after tearing an adductor muscle.

The left-hander was sorely missed when suspended for ball-tampering during India's last tour Down Under in 2018/19.

His strong opening partnerships with Joe Burns were a big factor in Australia sweeping Pakistan and New Zealand in the last home summer.

MARNUS LABUSCHAGNE

Mitchell Starc

IMAGE: Marnus Labuschagne reacts. Photograph: Andrew Boyers/Reuters

Some Australians may still struggle with his surname but most are familiar with Labuschagne following his extraordinary feats in the last home summer when he smashed 896 runs across five Tests.

The South Africa-born number three has a stratospheric average of 63.43 from his 14 Tests and, along with Steve Smith, will be expected to hold the Australian innings together against a versatile Indian bowling attack.

NATHAN LYON

Far and away Australia's most prolific off-spinner, Lyon needs 10 wickets in the series to join the 400 club and is poised to play his 100th Test in the last match at the Gabba.

With 21 victims, the 33-year-old was joint-highest wicket-taker with India paceman Jasprit Bumrah in the 2018/19 series and generally delivers for captain Tim Paine when called to break a stubborn partnership.

WILL PUCOVSKI

Pucovski, hailed as a once-in-a-generation talent by several Australian cricket luminaries, underlined his potential with double-hundreds in consecutive games for Victoria in the Sheffield Shield last month.

The 22-year-old top order batsman's Test debut is in doubt, however, as he recovers from concussion after being struck in the helmet by a bouncer in a tour match.

Apart from a long history of concussion problems, Pucovski has also struggled with mental health issues when on the cusp of international selection.

He says he will be ready to step up for Australia when called upon, but former players and pundits see a high risk in picking the right-hander.

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