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25 February 2024

Australia win toss, bat in India Test

Steven Smith (Getty Images)


Australia captain Steve Smith won the toss and elected to bat against India in the first Test in Pune on Thursday.

The visitors have opted for just two spinners in Steve O'Keefe and Nathan Lyon in the playing XI on what seems like a typical turning Indian track.

"It's a very dry pitch, won't bounce. Looks different to the T20 games I've played here," Smith, who plays for the Rising Pune Supergiants in the Indian Premier League, said at the toss.

"Our preparations have been great, about executing our skills under pressure," Smith said of the much-anticipated four-match series.

Virat Kohli's India, who beat Bangladesh in a one-off Test earlier this month, have opted for three spinners at Pune's Maharashtra Cricket Association Stadium.

Off-spinner Jayant Yadav was added to the starting line-up in place of seamer Bhuvneshwar Kumar.

"I don't come to the toss expecting anything. These things you have to keep out of contention. Looking at it as a challenge ... Reverse swing will be a big factor," said Kohli.

India: Murali Vijay, Lokesh Rahul, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli (capt), Ajinkya Rahane, Wriddhiman Saha, Ravichandran Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Jayant Yadav, Ishant Sharma, Umesh Yadav

Australia: David Warner, Matt Renshaw, Steven Smith (capt), Shaun Marsh, Peter Handscomb, Mitchell Marsh, Matthew Wade, Mitchell Starc, Steve O'Keefe, Nathan Lyon, Josh Hazlewood.

Umpires: Richard Kettleborough (ENG) and Nigel Llong (ENG)

TV umpire: Richard Illingworth (ENG)

Match referee: Chris Broad (ENG)