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Test Championship 2023, FINAL, AUS vs IND Preview and Fantasy Prediction

By Real11 - Jun 5 2023 374 Views
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Test Championship 2023

FINAL: AUS vs IND

 

Preview

Two of the best test teams in world cricket, Australia and India will square off in the pinnacle of all battles in the Test Championship final 2023. This match is scheduled to take place from Jun 07, Wed – Jun 11, Sun at 03:00 PM IST from Kennington Oval, London. Following a gruelling campaign in the IND T20 League, Rohit Sharma-led team India is all set to redirect their efforts towards the much-awaited Test Championship 2023 final against Pat Cummins-led Australia.

Pat Cummins-led side will be heading for its first appearance in the Test Championship finals. AUS reached the final, topping the Test Championship 2021-23 cycle points table with a 66.67 point percentage in its 19 matches. The second-placed test team Australia has been a dominant force in red-ball cricket for the past 18 months, remaining undefeated on their home turf. Even during arduous away tours in SL and IND, the Aussies showcased unwavering resolve, resilience, and a commendable display of patience. The remarkably consistent Scott Boland will come into the side in the absence of fast bowler Josh Hazlewood. However, Michael Neser has been added to the squad for the final of the Test Championship.

The experienced Aussie opener Usman Khawaja has been in great touch in the 2021-2023 Test Championship cycle, adding a whopping 1608 runs in 16 matches at an exaggerating average of 70 with 6 hundred and 7 fifties. In 2023, the left-handed batter is the leading run-getter for AUS in Tests with 528 runs in 5 games at an average of 75.42. The third-placed in the test ranking Steve Smith might have had a quiet series against India earlier this year, but the right-handed batter will undoubtedly be the most prized scalp for Rohit Sharma’s side. Moreover, Smith's record at this venue is almost Bradmanesque – an average of 97.75 across 3 Tests with two hundred. The world's number one batter Marcus Labuschagne has played 8 Tests in 2023, he has scored 323 runs at an average of 46.14. The 28-year-old batter is also AUS’ second-highest run-getter in this Test Championship cycle, amassing 1509 runs in 19 matches at a blistering average of 53.89.

The Aussies have some serious bowling attacks in the world with the likes of  Pat Cummins, Scott Boland, Mitchell Starc, Nathan Lyon, Todd Murphy and others. AUS skipper Pat Cummins’ will be quite a handful on this track. The 30-year-old pacer has had a decent 2023, grabbing 7 wickets in 3 Tests at an average of 27.85. More importantly, though, the number-third test bowler in the world has taken 29 wickets in 5 Tests in England at an outstanding average of 19.62. On the other hand, the spearhead bowler Mitchell Starc hasn’t had the best seasons, but the left-arm pacer is still AUS’ third-highest wicket-taker in this Test Championship cycle, scalping 51 wickets in 16 Tests at an average of 27.27. Starc's sharpness in swinging yorkers can trouble the Indian batters. Nathan Lyon and Todd Murphy both can play a crucial role with their spin attack on the fourth and fifth day of the test match for the Aussies.

Rohit Sharma-led India is gearing up for their consecutive Test Championship final after an impressive 2-1 win over AUS in the Border Gavaskar Trophy. Before that, team India effortlessly clinched a 2-0 victory over BAN in a two-match series. Though they lost the last year’s Test Championship final against New Zealand. The one-number test side team India will be without many of their regulars, they still look very strong on paper.

Team India’s opener Rohit Sharma his recent struggles in the IND T20 League, the 36-year-old batter has transformed his Test match game tremendously. The right-handed opening batter has scored 700 runs in this Test Championship cycle in 10 matches at an average of 43.75. Moreover, the last time he played at the Oval, in 2021, the veteran player scored a sublime 127 against England in a match-winning effort. He is likely to be supported by flamboyant young batter Shubman Gill who recently won the Oranage Cap Leaderboard in the IND T20 League 2023. The right-handed batter added whopping 890 runs in 17 games at a staggering average of 59.33, pummeling 3 hundred and 4 fifties in the tournament. He may play a huge role with skipper Rohit Sharma in the Test Championship final.

Team India has a solid lineup after the opening batters with the likes of Virat Kohli, Cheteshwar Pujara and Ajinkya Rahane. The dependent batter Pujara has been a thorn for AUS for a while now and at an average of 50.82 against them across 24 matches. Over the past few months in ENG, the 35-year-old batter has been representing Surrey in the County Championship, making him the most well-prepared Indian batter for this match. With an impressive average of 68.12, Pujara has added 582 runs in 8 innings in the series. One of the top pillar batters of the team Virat Kohli has played 24 matches against the Aussies, the 34-year-old right-handed batter has scored 1979 runs. He has struck eight of his 28 Test centuries against AUS, the joint-fourth most against the opposition in whites. He scored a majestic 186 against Australia at Ahmedabad last time when he faced Australia and registered his highest test individual score against the Aussies.

When it comes to the bowling team India has one of the best bowling strengths in the world. In the absence of Bumrah, the veteran pacer Mohammed Shami will take charge of India’s pace bowling attack. With the ability to generate swing in either direction, Shami poses a significant threat on English pitches. The 32-year-old bowler’s test match resume in ENG includes 13 matches played and an impressive haul of 38 wickets. He recently won the Purple Cap leaderboard for taking the most wickets in the IND T20 League with 28 scalps in 17 games.

He will be supported by Siraj who made his debut in Australia, he has made remarkable progress and now plays a crucial role in India's current lead-pace attack. Siraj has shown impressive growth since his debut in AUS, entrusted with the responsibility of partnering with Shami to take the new ball and achieve early breakthroughs. Siraj has performed well on the English pitches, scalping 18 wickets across 5 Test matches.

The spin trio of Ashwin, Jadeja and Axar Patel could be the biggest threat to the Aussies in this match. Although India had gone with Shardul Thakur ahead of Ashwin on their previous tour of ENG, the wily off-spinner should cut here courtesy of his exceptional record against AUS. The 36-year-old Ashwin has bagged 114 wickets against the Aussies in just 22 Tests. Ashwin consistently troubled Smith and Labuschagne in the recent BGT series at home.

 

Match Details

Match: Test Championship 2023, FINAL, AUS vs IND

Date: Jun 07, Wed – Jun 11, Sun

Time: 03:00 PM

Venue: Kennington Oval, London, England

 

Pitch & Weather Report

The pitch is an even playing surface that boasts considerable bounce. Spinners are expected to exert control with the old ball and seamers should generate movement. Historically, this track is excellent for batting for the first three days of the test match. Kennington Oval's dry texture allows for increased bounce and carries, enabling the ball to scuff up and generate the sought-after reverse swing.

The average 1st innings total at this venue is 350 and the average 2nd innings total on this is 283. The highest total posted at Kennington Oval is 664 by IND against END in 2007. The team batting first here must look to post a total of at least 380-400 runs. This pitch usually helps the team batting first. Out of the 15 Tests played on this ground, 52% have been won by the team batting first.

The maximum temperature will remain at 27°C, with a low of 14°C with 63% humidity, and a slow wind speed of 18-22 Km/hr for the Test Championship Final between Australia and India Jun 07, Wed – Jun 11, Sun. Light showers are expected for this game on the fourth and fifth day of the game, but might not impact the game that much. The second and third days will be colder, but there is no predicted chance of rain. Throughout the five-day final, there will be a gentle breeze, which could assist swing bowlers in troubling the batters.

 

AUS vs IND Squads

AUS: Pat Cummins (C), Marcus Harris, Travis Head, Usman Khawaja, Steven Smith, David Warner, Marnus Labuschagne, Cameron Green, Alex Carey, Josh Inglis, Scott Boland, Michael Neser, Nathan Lyon, Todd Murphy, Mitchell Starc

IND: Rohit Sharma (C), Shubman Gill, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli, Ajinkya Rahane, Ravichandran Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Axar Patel, Srikar Bharat, Ishan Kishan, Shardul Thakur, Mohammed Shami, Mohammed Siraj, Umesh Yadav, Jaydev Unadkat.

 

AUS vs IND: Probable XIs

AUS: David Warner, Usman Khawaja, Marnus Labuschagne, Steve Smith, Travis Head, Cameron Green, Alex Carey (wk), Mitchell Starc, Pat Cummins (c), Nathan Lyon, Scott Boland

IND: Rohit Sharma (c), Shubman Gill, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli, Ajinkya Rahane, Ravindra Jadeja, KS Bharat (wk), Shardul Thakur/ Ravichandran Ashwin, Mohammad Shami, Mohammed Siraj, Umesh Yadav

 

Match Prediction

Pat Cummins'-led AUS holds a 44-32 record against India in Tests in H2H. However, AUS has lost the last four Test series against India. The Aussies boast a very strong and well-balanced squad. Australia's seamers are likely to create quite a few problems for Rohit Sharma-led India, who have not been in the best of form of late. Furthermore, with the likes of Khawaja, Smith, and Labuschagne, the lineup features three exceptional and in-form batters who will present a formidable challenge to the number-one side in the world.

For India to win their first-ever International title since 2013, IND bowlers will have to come to the party big time and not allow the AUS batters to score big. Considering the recent challenges faced by its top and middle order, it is unlikely that India will deliver a strong performance. While India's lower order has rescued them regularly in the past couple of years, it might not happen this time against this lethal fast-bowling attack. That alone gives Kangaroos an edge in this final. We say Australia to win this match.

 

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