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India vs Australia 1st Test Tips - Can Australia win the series opener in India?

Last updated: 09 Feb 2023
Ralph Staniforth 09 Feb 2023
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  • Watch the 1st Test of India vs Australia from 9 to 13 February
  • India have lost just twice in their last 43 home Test matches
  • Can the visitors cause an upset in India?
steve smith test sydney
Steve Smith (Getty Images)

India vs Australia Tips

Australia are in great form and if anyone is going to beat India away, it is probably going to be them. However, India’s record at home is strong, and with spinning conditions expected the questions around the Aussie batsmen dealing with it remains.
  • India vs Australia Tips
  • Head to Head
  • India Form
  • India Team News
  • Australia Form
  • Australia Team News

Steven Smith has a fine record in India so I am backing him to perform, but ultimately I think India will have too much on home soil. 

  • India have won 9 of their last 10 Test matches at home against Australia.
  • India have won 34 of their last 43 home Test matches.
  • India are unbeaten in 41 of their last 43 home Test matches.
  • India’s Virat Kohli has scored 50+ runs 12 times in 20 Test matches against Australia.
  • Australia have won 4 of their last 5 Test matches.
  • Australia’s Steven Smith averages 60 away in India.
  • Australia’s Steven Smith has scored 90 + runs 4 times in 6 Test matches in India.

Head to Head

India have won two of their last five Test matches against Australia. The Aussies have won one along with two draws.

In India things are however very different where the hosts have dominated every nation, including Australia.

India Form

India have won four of their last five Test matches with a home series win against Sri Lanka and an away series win in Bangladesh in that run. Their only defeat came in England.

The Indian side last played Test cricket in late December where they beat Bangladesh by three wickets. It was a very tight match which could easily have gone in the host’s favour.

India scored 314 runs in their first innings, responding to Bangladesh’s 227 runs. Rishabh Pan top scored with 93 runs while Shreyas Iyer added 87 in a crucial partnership.

Bangladesh then scored 231 in their second innings, leaving India to chase 144 runs for victory. Early wickets put India on the back foot but an unbeaten 29 by Shreyas Iyer and Ravi Ashwin (42) saw India over the line.

India Team News

With Rishabh Pant out of the series following in car accident, India will need to select another keeper. Ishan Kishan is in the squad but there are major doubts over his ability as a keeper in the long format. 

India are also likely to field three spinners depending on conditions. Shreyas Iyer is also ruled out in the Indian middle order.

Australia Form

Over December and January, Australia continued their fine Test form. They have lost just one of their last 15 Test matches. That defeat came in Galle against Sri Lanka in July 2022.

Since then, Australia have thrashed both the West Indies and South Africa on home soil. Their last Test against the Proteas ended in a draw after rain caused too much time to be lost in Sydney.

Still, Australia are in great form but that goes out of the window in India. It is vastly different conditions but if any team has the batsmen to score runs in India, it is the Aussies.

Steven Smith has a decent record on the sub-continent while Usman Khawaja and Marnus Labuschagne are not short on form.

Australia Team News

It is almost guaranteed that Australia will go for more than one spinner. Scott Boland also looks set to start with Josh Hazelwood ruled out.

Cameron Green is a major doubt as he continues to recover from injury.


India are backed to beat Australia in the first Test in Nagpur. Virat Kohli has a good record against the Aussies and has found some form of late as well.

For Australia, Steven Smith has an unparalleled record in India. He averages 60 so he is tipped to top score in the first innings.

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