India have included Rohit Sharma into the playing XI for the opening Test against Australia in Adelaide – for his specialist batting capabilities, ahead of the all-rounder Hanuma Vihari. India were forced into making the decision with the regular option at the position – Hardik Pandya – out injured.
Speaking on the change, skipper Virat Kohli said at the toss: “Rohit Sharma will bat at six, he can bat well with tail, has the shots on these kind of wickets, he’s good with the short ball and can attack the bowlers.” He last played on the tour of South Africa and had a miserable time at it with just 78 runs in four innings. He was then not included in India’s tour of England and at home against West Indies. However, he is seemingly back in the mix on the back of limited-overs’ form, and his ability to play horizontal bat shots well.
At the toss, India opted to bat under severe heat with temperatures expected to reach 39 degrees. Kohli further said at the toss, “It looks like a nice hard wicket with a nice covering of grass on it. Runs on the board will be always handy in any condition.”
“Evey tour is an opportunity, it’s always a difficult challenge in Australia. Taking nothing for granted, nothing lightly. We are looking forward to a challenging series, to measure ourselves against one of the best sides in the world.” India have never won a Test series in Australia with just five matches won in 44 played.