India wins toss and bat in first test, Wade opens for Australia

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India’s captain Virat Kohli won the toss and chose to bat in the day-night first test against Australia at Adelaide Oval on Thursday, claiming the first small advantage in a blockbuster four-match series.

The hosts, who lost a test series to Asian opponents for the first time when India last toured in 2018, promoted Matthew Wade up the order to replace the injured David Warner and open the batting with Joe Burns.

All-rounder Cameron Green received his ‘baggy green’ cap from Pat Cummins before the toss, having cleared concussion protocols to take his place in the side for his test debut.

The world’s top-ranked batsman Steve Smith, who missed training with a stiff back on Tuesday, also took his place in the Australian line-up.

The only other change to Australia’s line-up from their last test in Sydney in January was in the pace unit, where Josh Hazlewood rejoins Cummins and Mitchell Starc.

“Happy to be bowling first, to be honest, looks like there might be a bit in it,” said Australia skipper Tim Paine.

“Our attack will perform in all conditions, in the first afternoon of a test match there’s always enough in the wicket if we can challenge them in the right areas.”

India named their side on Wednesday, keeping faith in Prithvi Shaw at the top of the order in place of the absent Rohit Sharma.

“Looks like a really nice wicket, nice and hard,” said Kohli.

(We) just (want) runs on the board, it’s priceless in test cricket especially away from home so we can put some pressure on the opposition when they bat.”

Australia’s bowlers will be keen to quickly see off the openers and Cheteshwar Pujara, who scored 123 and 71 in his two innings to lead India to a 31-run victory in the corresponding test in 2018.

Kohli, ranked second to Smith in the world batting rankings, will be another key target in his only test before he returns to India for the birth of his first child.