The Indian National team led by Virat Kohli is all set to meet the Aussie side led by Tim Paine on December 17th. The first match out of a series of four tests would be held in Adelaide. It would be a day-night test clash and the first international day-night test match in the country to be played by the Indian side.
Raising the stakes further is the fact that the test match would be significant in determining the ICC World Rankings and deciding which of the two sides deserves to stand at number one.
The Indian skipper, Virat Kohli, is scheduled to return back to the country after the match as he’s about to become a father. Since the Indian side would have to play without their captain over the next matches in the series, this match might be one of the best chances for the side to cement its position as the top side in the ICC World Rankings. The likes of Royal Panda have Australia as marginal favourites, but their growing injury list means that India have a real shot at winning the Adelaide test.
Will the first Asian team to win at Australia repeat history?
In January 2019, India became the first Asian team to beat Australia on their home ground in a test series. The four-match series played in 2019 culminated in India winning with a lead of 2-1 and the final match called off due to bad weather. However, there are doubts as to whether India could repeat the feat of defeating the mighty Australian side in Australia again. The Indian team that faced off the Australian side in 2019 was at the top of their game with players like Cheteshwar Pujara and an extremely powerful bowling line-up.
The Australian side in 2019 missed some key players like Smith, Warner, and Labuschagne (3 of the top six currently in the world rankings, as seen below). The Yellow Army led by Tim Paine is a much better side with brilliant players like Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazelwood and Pat Cummins.
Will the first match decide the fate of the entire series?
Some commentators like Michael Vaughan have predicted that the first match will have a massive impact on the whole series and if India cannot clinch the victory, the entire test series could easily go in Australia’s way.
It is yet to be seen what happens in the first test match but it is definitely being set up as one of the more important match-ups in 2020 so far. Out of the last five games in this format between India and Australia, India have won 3 and Australia has won 1, with the latest match ending up in a draw.
Spectators to be allowed at 50% capacity
For all five days of cricket at the Adelaide Oval, the stadium will be open to spectators and operate at 50% capacity. The tickets for the historic match-up have already been mostly sold out. With crowds back in the stadium and a lot at stake – it seems like this marquee test match between the two giants is set to be a great one!