Test Cricket Blog Post, My combined Australia and India XI playing squad

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The 2020-21 Test Cricket portion in Australia is now over. After four cracking games that went into a decider. And only one team can take home the series title.

That went to India despite not having Virat Kohli. They might have panicked after the first game. When Virat flew back home for paternity leave. So he can be there for his newborn child with wife Anushka Sharma.

It is not just the Kohli-less batting card that can still pull it off. Why not do the same with the bowling? As India maintained their bowling unit still on a top standard. Despite a few established guys on the treatment room. With a few uncapped stars able to get the job done.

Australia on the other hand fired off to a good start. They were predicted to end this series on a high. When India struggled with Kohli during the opening game. But did not happen after all despite some decent batting. A few misfields & dropped catches. Plus a lack of bowling tactics did not help at all. With the short ball catches only helped them very little in return.

Both teams have played well regardless of their strengths & weaknesses. We need those close battles like this more often to reflect the value of Test Cricket. No matter who you are going for. Either the Green & Gold or the Men in Blue. But as always every contest has to end with a winner.

But we will need to put these differences aside. Why not pick a combined starting XI? With myself pretending to be a chief selector. And head coach of this team.

Opening Batsman slot

It is a no brainer for me to say Shubman Gill from India. He may be quite young at age 21 with three Test caps. But his ability remains top notched. With a dynamic style of stroke selection v the bowlers.

He is very mature who have oozes of class ahead of him. Having scored two half-tons including a high score of 91 during the 4th Test. And an average of 51.80.

Gill will be joined by one of the most experienced Test openers. His name is Dave Warner from Australia. He might have come back during the 3rd Test. After he recovered from a groin injury. But Dave came off good with a near possible 50 a few days ago. And he would be a great mentor/opening partner alongside Gill.

Top Order

It is not hard for me to pick someone who is tailor made at this level. His name is Cheteshwar Pujara who bats at No.3.

He is known as “The Wall” with a very defensive style of play. He would block 1000-2000 balls all day. But can get forward on occasions when it comes to scoring runs. No matter how long it takes without hesitation. As long as a big innings here means a lot to this fella.

While both Australians will take the 4 & 5 slots. With Marnus Labuschagne and Steve Smith respectively. No doubt about that as they have similar dynamic batting approaches. In which will benefit Pujara with rotating the combination/partnership.

Middle Order

Cam Green slots in at No.6 who has a bright start in Australian colours. Not only he is dynamic with the bat where he scored his maiden half-ton. As well as provided an extra 30-40 runs for the whole team. Cam can be my main seamer back up when the main quicks need rest.

Rishabh Pant will be my wicket keeper at No.7. He is the present & future for India over the next 10-15 years. His keeping skills are usually handy. While possessing a explosive batting approach. Just like Adam Gilchrist and Quinton De Kock.

Lower Order

Washington Sundar slots behind Pant at No.8. The reason why I picked him because he has the spinner-all rounder strength. We need him to contribute with the batting to turn around. Should the top order collapse early. He can also be an extra spinner. Especially the pitches here in Australia suit the quicks for the majority.

Both fast bowling all-rounders will slot in at 9 & 10. But only from two different countries. One is Shardul Thakur who scored 67 during the 1st innings of Game 4. While Pat Cummins remained outstanding for the whole time with the ball. And can be a handy batsman too.

Mohammed Siraj filled in for the injured Mo Shami without problems. Ever since he got into the India test team. He has a bright future ahead at age 26 with three test caps so far. As one of the focal contributors as the main seamer here.

Starting XI

  • David Warner
  • Shubman Gill
  • Cheteshwar Pujara (Captain)
  • Marnus Labuschagne
  • Steve Smith
  • Cam Green
  • Rishabh Pant (WK)
  • Washington Sundar
  • Shardul Thakur
  • Pat Cummins (Vice-Captain)
  • Mohammed Siraj

My planned XI may not be perfect as anyone can disagree with me. But I feel we have a very robust batting line up where we can build 300-400. I am confident we have the best Top 7-8 guys out there to deliver. While it is hard to balance out the bowling. I feel we are good with three predominantly focused seamers. And one spinner. Especially most of the tracks in Australia are bouncy.

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