Where will the runs come from?
Adelaide | Gaining the respect of his country is as big a priority as taming India for Australian skipper Tim Paine, who Wednesday said that winning matches and winning hearts are not mutually exclusive tasks for him. "This is where my first class career started a few years ago, a great place to play cricket".
"When you're batting at the other end with Steve Smith it takes your mind off the fact you're out there, you can switch off and watch him do his work - pretty awesome to watch".
Bhajji also reiterated that this is India's best chance of beating Australia in Australia but for that to happen, Kohli needs to perform better as a captain and get the team combination right in every game. But with Justin Langer and the seamers going big-data in terms of analysing the chinks in Kohli's armour, it could only be a matter of time before they expose the minor ones here or there, and target them.
The numbers were a little bit off - Langer had accidentally doubled-counted global centuries - but the message was clear: centuries matter.
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And he's not been picked. He had claimed nine wickets when he last toured Australia for a four-match Test series in 2014.
Star spinner Ravichandran Ashwin will be flanked by pacemen Mohammed Shami, Ishant Shama and Jasprit Bumrah in India's attack. It's unusual that the first Test is not in Brisbane because Gabba's pace, bounce and swing against the away team is always an advantage.
The number five slot will be a toss-up between Peter Handscomb, who was dropped for the Pakistan tests, and two-test lefthander Travis Head, whose high regard from selectors outstrips his humble numbers in Shield cricket. "No (other Indian) team comes even close". He was cruelly dismissed one shy of a well-deserved ton when he was run out for 99 in the 2014 Boxing Day Test.
"Smith and Warner are the only two (batsmen) capable of playing 100 tests ability-wise", said former test wicketkeeper and selector Rod Marsh.
While he averages an imposing 55.05 against the Aussies, in Australia he averages only 33.5 and is yet to score a Test ton.
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Australian journalist, Richard Hinds took to Twitter to share the photograph of the tabloid that says India have issues with the different venues Down Under.
"Not really", the India vice-captain told reporters at Adelaide Oval.
David Warner (R) remains sidelined with his ban. Smith, Warner and Cameron Bancroft will miss the series after being suspended for ball-tampering in South Africa last March. They are looking forward to this challenge, they don't want to be in a situation where we are looking for ideal bowling conditions or ideal batting conditions.
But Australia and its unforgiving pitches have been kryptonite to Indian cricket, and Kohli's starring role in the last series was in a losing cause.
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