Sports

India vs Australia: India is 'smelling blood' concedes Australian coach Justin Langer

India vs Australia: India is 'smelling blood' concedes Australian coach Justin Langer

India suffered a huge blow ahead of the Test with young opener Prithvi Shaw ruled out after suffering ankle ligament damage during their final warm-up game against a Cricket Australia XI.

"As this series wears on, and we get to places where the wicket might be a bit flatter and conditions might be a little warmer, our bowlers will be a bit exhausted then the all rounder position becomes important", said Paine.

Throw in Australia being without Smith and Warner, and it points to India starting as overwhelming favourites.

"If they bowl, just keep the pressure on and Josh Hazlewood in particular, to me, is a key part of that".

With a scorching 39 degrees Celsius forecast for Adelaide on Thursday, Paine said Australia would be inclined to bat first if he won the toss against counterpart Virat Kohli.

"We're keeping an eye on "Uzzie", obviously it was a little bit of a shock for him yesterday", Langer said on SEN radio.

With four Tests in a month, some of them on unforgiving tracks, the value of Marsh's bowling should increase through the series.

Batsmen Travis Head and Peter Handscomb were preferred to Marsh, piling more pressure on the bowlers, while Marcus Harris will make his debut as opener.

Pujara was dismissed on the second last ball of the day by a diving Pat Cummins
Pujara was dismissed on the second last ball of the day by a diving Pat Cummins

"We know the talent Mitch has and we know he is good enough to be a genuine all-rounder at Test level. We've been rolling our sleeves up, we've got plenty to prove as well".

"The quicks are going to have to bowl a bit more and we have full faith that Nathan Lyon can do the job in any conditions", he said.

Paine predicted that Australia's three premium quicks and champion off-spinner Nathan Lyon would be able to carry the attack at Adelaide against an Indian batting line-up that is one of the strongest to visit Aust-ralia.

"That's why I feel that India have got a big chance because they are a settled unit and they will be confident".

"The wicket over the last few years here has given enough throughout the game [to not need an all-rounder]".

"Travis Head bowls some handy off spinners so we have options there but we'll be backing our bowlers", he said. In essence, BCCI has indicated that India will be going with six batters.

Tim Paine will lead a fresh-faced side featuring just two batsmen with more than 15 Tests experience in Shaun Marsh and Usman Khawaja.

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