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Battle between Vihari and Rohit for No.6 slot in first Test against Australia

India will toss up between Hanuma Vihari and Rohit Sharma for the No.6 slot in the Test series opener against Australia in Adelaide. The visitors announced a 12-member shortlist for the Test sans Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Kuldeep Yadav meaning the four bowlers Ishant Sharma, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Shami and R Ashwin are expected to be certain starters.

Vihari, who scored a half-century on Test debut in England, could be slightly ahead in the race for a starting berth if evidences from last week’s warm-up fixture are anything to go by. He scored a 53 in the first innings, batting ahead of Rohit (40) in the line-up and with limited time left in the game in the second innings, was pushed up to bat at No.3.

More importantly, Vihari also bowled 12 overs of part-time off-spin – a crucial facet of his game expected to come in handy given India’s decision to play only four frontline bowlers. Vihari, who played his only Test at the Oval in London in early September, wasn’t picked to play either of the subsequent two Tests against Windies at home.

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