Pat Cummins (R) and Rohit Sharma | AFP
Nagpur: Australia skipper Pat Cummins won the toss and opted to bat first Thursday on a pitch expected to turn from the first session in the series-opening test against India.
Peter Hanscomb was recalled to bat in the middle-order at the expense of in-form Travis Head after all the attention on the pitch preparation and the perception it will disadvantage left-handed batters.
Australia also gave a debut to 22-year-old off-spinner Todd Murphy, who will work in tandem with Nathan Lyon. Usman Khawaja will be playing his first test in India and paceman Scott Boland will play his first test on foreign soil.
India handed test debuts to Srikar Bharat and Suryakumar Yadav. Bharat replaces wicketkeeper Rishabh Pant, who is recovering from injuries sustained in an car mishap.
Yadav replaced the injured Shreyas Iyer.
India opted for five bowlers, with Ravichandran Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja and Axar Patel as spinners. Mohammed Shami and Siraj will marshal the pace department.
This is the first of four tests in this Border Gavaskar Trophy. Delhi, Dharamsala and Ahmedabad will host the remaining tests.
The pitch at Vidarbha Cricket Association Stadium has been the center of attention ahead of this first test. The surface of this red-soil wicket is expected to come off easily, with enough rough patches to trouble left-handed batters from the outset.
India: Rohit Sharma (captain), KL Rahul, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli, Suryakumar Yadav, 6 Srikar Bharat, Ravinda Jadeja, Ravicandran Ashwin, Axar Patel, Mohammed Shami, Mohammed Siraj.
Australia: David Warner, Usman Khawaja, Marnus Labuschagne, Steven Smith, Matt Renshaw, Peter Handscomb, Alex Carey, Pat Cummins, Nathan Lyon, Todd Murphy, Scott Boland. AP