A scorching start to the first Test is likely to mitigate any temptation to bowl first when Australia and India commence hostilities at Adelaide Oval.
The mercury is forecast to soar to 39C on Thursday for the beginning of the four-Test series, heightening the significance of Tim Paine and Virat Kohli’s pre-match coin toss.
Adelaide’s drop-in pitches are known as the most bowler-friendly in the nation and curator Damian Hough has promised a wicket with a generous grass covering.
With Australia set to line up without a fast-bowling allrounder after dropping Mitch Marsh in favour of middle-order batsman Peter Handscomb, Paine acknowledged on the eve of the Test that he was wary of putting his bowlers to work in the heat.
“That probably sways it to batting, doesn’t it?,” Paine said.
“You want to bat on days when it’s 40-odd degrees.
“There’s always a good coverage of grass here in Adelaide and it offers a bit with the new ball, but there’s also a lot of runs to be had out there.
“Normally Australian teams like to bat first.
“But we’ll have another look at it in the morning before we make that final call.”
India will also line up without a supplementary quick, although not by choice having lost Hardik Pandya for the series to a back injury.
Kohli said his frontline pacemen had no option but to embrace the challenge of enduring long spells in tough conditions.
“The workload on the guys who will play in the absence of the allrounder will be high but it’s something that has already been discussed, that they should look forward to that and not think of that as a burden and something that’s going to be tough,” he said.
“Because at international level, things are going to be tough.
“We’ll just have to embrace that and make something out of the resources we have at present.”
Handscomb is set to bat at No.5 for Australia while opener Marcus Harris will become Australia’s 456th male Test cricketer.
India named a 12-man squad on Wednesday, having not yet decided whether Rohit Sharma or Hanuma Vihari would claim the final spot in their batting order.