As it is the case with any Test match under Virat Kohli’s captaincy in the past year or so, there is plenty of intrigue over what combination India are likely to go with ahead of the first Test of the four-match series against Australia, starting in Adelaide on Thursday.
If India’s recent habit is anything to go by, we are likely to know the 12-man squad for the opening Test a day in advance, during the press conference on Wednesday.
Prithvi Shaw’s injury in the warm-up match was an obvious blow to the Indian camp and given Murali Vijay’s swashbuckling ton in Sydney in the second innings against Cricket Australia XI, there aren’t too many doubts over who will open the batting.
The bigger talking points, now, are over how Kohli balances his team, given that he has always showed an inclination to play five proper bowlers. But given Hardik Pandya’s absence, we could potentially see him stick to the combination of the final Test during the England series where he played Hanuma Vihari as the sixth batsman, who could bowl if needed.
Indications from the warm-up game were that India are looking to play six batsmen and four front-line bowlers.
Will there be a late twist in the planning from Kohli and Ravi Shastri, given there is talk about a green pitch welcoming the players on Thursday? Do India need to play two spinners or does Kuldeep Yadav get a go, ahead of Ravichandran Ashwin? Where does this all leave Bhuvneshwar Kumar?
Here’s a chance to give your choice for India’s XI, if you were Kohli. As every Indian fan loves to do, imagine you are the Indian captain and take this survey to let us know which eleven players make the cut for you.