15 February, 2017
The Indian selectors on Tuesday retained the 16-member squad that featured in the comprehensive 208-run triumph over Bangladesh for the first two test of four-match series against Australia staring from 23 February in Pune.
Australia will play four Test matches in India. The southpaw who had announced himself on the world stage with a sparkling 187 on debut, ironically against the Australians in 2013, had fractured his thumb in the second Test against New Zealand in Kolkata previous year, and was not picked for the Tests against England and Bangladesh.
While the bulk of the spoils just about went to the spinners, who were definitely the wreckers-in-chief once again, it was India's unit of fast-bowlers who led the bowling attack at key moments. They're all batting very well at the moment, they've got a very strong top six.
Speaking recently before the one-off Bangladesh Test, Indian captain Virat Kohli mentioned that his biggest learning as captain of the Indian team was when to attack and when to play more defensive cricket.
"He encouraged me. He said I had the potential to have a long and successful global career and advised me to work really hard".
When you go to India, you need to be positive. "Okay, how are we going to take wickets?" continued McGrath. "The way Bhuvi has bowled in the last few games he has played, with the old ball (has been good)". All have the benefit of knowledge gained on previous trips to Asia, and Starc's destructive efforts in Sri Lanka, where he lacked support, have not been forgotten.
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"I look to push myself, throw myself around in the field so that other guys know that they also have to push for a wicket".
"David Warner is an wonderful player - he is someone who has redefined the role of opening batting", he said. Also, some of our spinners spent time in Sri Lanka previous year and I think that's a good grounding for them.
"It's all about us making sure that us as individuals are in the right mind set to go out and succeed".
The Aussies reached this metropolis from Dubai where they had a training camp and drove down to a South Mumbai hotel from where they will depart for Pune after playing a warm-up game against India A at the Cricket Club of India's Brabourne Stadium.
"In the end it's about us playing on skill and making sure that our skills are in the best place for us to succeed in these conditions", he added.