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IND v AUS: Australia opt to bat first as SKY, Bharat, Murphy make Test debut

Nagpur, Feb 9 (IANS) Australia skipper Pat Cummins won the toss and opted to bat first against India in the opening Test of the 2023 Border-Gavaskar Trophy series here on Thursday.

India handed Test debuts to white-ball specialist Suryakumar Yadav and wicketkeeper KS Bharat for the first Test of the four-match series at the Vidarbha Cricket Association Stadium, Jamtha here on Thursday.

Former India captain and coach Ravi Shastri handed his India Test cap to Yadav while Cheteshwar Pujara gave it to Bharat at the VCA Stadium in the presence of teammates and the families of both players.

KS Bharat’s selection as a replacement for the injured Rishabh Pant ahead of Ishan Kishan was expected as Kishan is a top-order batsman while India needed to bolster their part of their batting lineup in the absence of Pant.

Suryakumar also adds more meat to the middle order as he has been in great form in the last couple of years and has played Ranji Trophy cricket for more than five-six years.

At 32 years and 148 days, Yadav is the 15th oldest player to make his debut for India.

Australia also handed a maiden cap to off-spinner Todd Murphy and he was given his cap by fellow-spinner Nathan Lyon.

They made two changes to the squad, bringing in Scott Boland for Josh Hazlewood and dropping Travis Head for odd Murphy.

Playing Xis:

India: Rohit Sharma, KL Rahul, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli, Suryakumar Yadav, KS Bharat, Ravindra Jadeja, R Ashwin, Axar Patel, Mohammed Shami, Mohammed Siraj.

Australia: David Warner, Usman Khawaja, Marnus Labuschagne, Steven Smith, Matt Renshaw, Peter Handscomb, Alex Carey (wk), Pat Cummins, Nathan Lyon, Todd Murphy, Scott Boland.