India v Australia - 1st Test Preview

It's time for cricket's greatest rivals (until the Ashes) to face off once again.

Many of the world's best cricketers will take the field opposite each other in a battle that goes beyond rankings (India's # 1 though).

Expect swearing, tantrums, hissy fits, cheerful jousting, and delightfully synchronized dance-swimming.

But enough about the Aussies.

Some great cricket is to be played over the course of five... what's that? Only two tests? What? There weren't even supposed to be tests? ODI's?

Just be glad we're getting something that isn't T20 or Sri Lanka, especially if it's making sure the Aussies are as poorly prepared for the Ashes as possible.

I'd prefer India to be playing 5 bowlers, because the top 5 batsmen + Dhoni are more than adequate for anything served to them. The bowlers are the rusty weak link, probably except Ojha. Much as I hate to admit it, Ishant Sharma should play, if only for Ponting. Sreesanth had a good outing in the tour game too. But the likely line-up is:

Dhoni (c)(wk)

It doesn't matter which of Hauritz or Smith plays for the Aussies, though since Smith can bat, Hauritz is better for us. Cannon fodder. And now that I've underestimated him, he's probably going to take a five-fer. For 200.

As long as India doesn't lose many wickets in the first session, it's pretty safe to say we won't be losing this game.