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Australia v India 2017: Tourists to confront spin demons in first Test

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Australia skipper Steve Smith| AP

Hazelwood, however, is aware of the hard work involved in bowling on pitches where the edges won't probably carry as much as back home.

With regards to their career trajectories, both Kohli and Smith can be viewed as the two modern-day Mercedes cars in Formula One.

"I obviously had a good time with Pune last year and it was very nice of them to release me this year and allow me to go to Yorkshire", Handscomb said in Pune, which will be the venue for the first Test between India and Australia on Thursday. The approach they tend to take is to be aggressive. Marsh was a calm presence in Colombo last August, when he was brought in for the third Test against Sri Lanka and made 130, which was Australia's highest score of the tour.

"We want to change the way we play away from home, we want to be more adaptable and show some fight, to play the way you need to in those conditions". We expect it to turn a bit from day 2 or day 3.

The 2014/15 Border-Gavaskar Trophy was billed as a game of chess between Dhoni and Clarke.

It will be interesting to see how skipper Steve Smith deploys Starc and Hazelwood; either in short spells as Hansie Cronje used to do with his fast bowlers or give them extended spells. Jayant, who missed out on the Bangladesh Test, is all set to return for the first Test. "I thought England was the biggest for us in the season but having won that 4-0 there is lot of expectation on us".

The feeling is Renshaw will get the nod, with the left-hander probably deserving it a little more, considering he scored a brilliant 184 in his last Test match innings, against South Africa in Sydney.

Australia may need a miracle to win in India, but they would certainly do themselves no favours by building up the Indian conditions and spinners in their heads.

"Like you admire world class batsmen, you admire world class bowlers as well and you respect their skills and Mitchell is one of them". Let us take a look at the possible XIs of both the sides that may take field.

AUSTRALIA SQUAD: Steve Smith (c), David Warner, Ashton Agar, Jackson Bird, Peter Handscomb, Josh Hazlewood, Usman Khawaja, Nathan Lyon, Mitchell Marsh, Shaun Marsh, Glenn Maxwell, Stephen O'Keefe, Matthew Renshaw, Mitchell Starc, Mitchell Swepson, Matthew Wade (wk).

However, there is no doubting the fact that Smith and Kohli are the two prime batsmen in their respective lineups. "He has been hampered by injuries quite often, but the way he has evolved as a bowler, it's been outstanding", Kohli told reporters on Wednesday.

But while India have been treading a cautious path in treating the pre-game talk, Australia, one senses, are struggling with trepidation. The former India all-rounder rates Richard Hadlee and many others from the West Indies higher due to their records in India. He also became the first batsman in history to slam four successive double hundreds. Nine men who played in that series are part of the squad in India. That's something that every cricketer in the world would admire. Pitches weren't too spin-friendly, as they haven't been through this entire home season, and won't be in this upcoming four-Test series either. "If you do take 20 wickets, you are doing the right thing and will win more games for the team", Lyon said. It would be interesting to see how the Aussie spinners operate in ideal conditions for spin bowling.

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