New Delhi: India will face Australia in a four-match Test series at home, the first match of which will start on Thursday (February 9) and take place at the Vidarbha Cricket Association Stadium in Nagpur.
India have won the previous three Test series between these two top teams and are unbeaten at home in the last 19 years. Team India will hope to maintain its dominance over the Baggy Greens.
The last time these two teams faced each other in Test cricket was way back in 2020-21, when India managed to secure a comeback 2-1 series win. In that series, Ajinkya Rahane captained India in the last three matches and helped them win two of them.
But this time, he won’t be there. Apart from him, there are quite a few other players as well who, despite being the architects of India’s win in 2020-21, will not be seen in action in the upcoming four matches. Here’s a look at them:
Ajiknya Rahane: After India suffered the embarrassment of getting out for just 36 runs in the second innings of the 1st Test at Adelaide Oval, Ajinkya Rahane took over the leadership from Virat Kohli, who returned to India on a paternity leave and led the side from the front. In the second Test, which was played at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on Boxing Day, he scored a century and helped India win the game and level the series.
Rishabh Pant: Star wicketkeeper-batter Rishabh Pant finished as India’s leading wicket-taker in the 2020–21 India–Australia Test series. In five innings of the three matches, he scored a total of 374 runs. But due to an unfortunate road accident that he met with on December 30, 2022, he will miss the upcoming series.
Jasprit Bumrah: Bumrah played three Test matches in the 2020-21 series, in which he picked up a total of 11 wickets. But due to a back injury, he will miss the first two matches, and there’s no clarity as of yet on whether he will be fit for the last two matches or not.
Hanuma Vihari: Despite being injured in the Sydney Test, Hanuma Vihari stayed at the crease and played all day to prevent Australia from winning the third Test and taking a 2-1 series lead. He faced a total of 161 balls to score just 23 runs with the bat on the final day of the SCG Test. Together with Ravichandran Ashwin, he added 62 runs in 43 overs to help India earn a draw.
Shardul Thakur: Shardul Thakur played in the final Test of the four-match series and top-scored for India in the first innings by making 67 runs. With the ball as well, after taking three wickets in the first innings, he picked up a four-fer in the second to bowl out the hosts for just 294 runs in the second innings.