The Indian cricket team will return to the field for the first time since March 2020 as Virat Kohli’s men get ready to take on the mighty Australian team. The Indian players have already reached Australia and will soon begin their practice sessions.
The last time India visited Australia, they made history by beating the home team 2-1 in the Test series. However, it will be very tough for them to replicate the same performance this year. The two main reasons behind it are Virat Kohli’s paternity leave and the return of David Warner and Steve Smith.
Apart from Warner and Smith, there are also a few other Aussies who could trouble the visitors a lot. Here’s a look at the top five names.
#1 Will Pucovski
Uncapped batsman Will Pucovski has been in a sensational form in the ongoing Sheffield Shield competition. He has registered a couple of double centuries, and he could trouble the Indian bowlers if he continues playing in the same vein.
Pucovski is referred to as a ‘Once in a Generation Player’ in Victoria. The 22-year-old could wreak havoc in the longest format of the game.
#2 Marnus Labuschagne
All-rounder Marnus Labuschagne had a dream summer in 2019-20. He destroyed the opposition bowling lineups with his marathon knocks. The rising star has played only 14 Test matches for Australia, but he has aggregated 1,459 runs, including four centuries and a double hundred.
The South Africa-born player has a batting average of 63.43 in the red-ball arena. Labuschagne has also played 10 ODI games for austra, scoring 394 runs. He has registered one century and two fifties in his brief 50-over international career.
#3 Mitchell Starc
The Man of the Tournament of the ICC World Cup 2015, Mitchell Starc did not play in IPL 2020 and will be fresh for the upcoming series versus India. The left-arm pacer has taken 244 wickets in 57 Test matches. Many consider him as the most feared Australian bowler of the current era.
Starc has 13 five-wicket hauls and a couple of 10-wicket hauls to his name in the longest format of the game. The 30-year-old will be keen to increase that number in the upcoming ICC World Test Championship series.
#4 Nathan Lyon
Australia’s right-arm off-spinner Nathan Lyon has a marvelous record against India. He has always troubled the Indian batsmen in the Australian conditions. Lyon has scalped 390 wickets in 96 Test matches. He will play his 100th Test match against India in 2021.
Since that will be the final ICC World Test Championship match of the series, the Australian team and Lyon himself will look forward to making it a memorable occasion. The 32-year-old from New South Wales has taken 18 five-wicket hauls and three 10-wicket match hauls. His best bowling figures are 8/50, achieved against India in 2017.
Talking about his numbers versus India, Lyon has taken 85 Indian wickets in just 18 Tests. He has taken 7 five-wicket hauls, which shows that he loves to bowl against them. Also, he has bowled 107 maiden overs in those 18 matches.
#5 Ashton Agar
Left-arm spinner Ashton Agar will be the player to watch out for in the limited overs series. The 27-year-old Aussie has been in terrific form in the shortest format of the game. He finished with eight wickets in three T20Is against South Africa earlier this year.
In the recently played T20I series between Australia and England, Agar scalped five wickets for the visitors. The Indian batsmen will have to be wary of this all-rounder’s bowling skills because he has the potential to derail the innings with his wicket-taking abilities.
The Indian batsmen tackled him very well in the ODI series played earlier this year. Agar could manage to take only two wickets in three matches. Still, Agar’s recent T20I performances make him a threat.