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India keen to take down Australia for perfect end to season

NEW DELHI: The Indian test juggernaut, with Virat Kohli at the wheel, has crushed almost everything in its path over the last 18 months and Australia will have to conjure up something special if they are to upset the hosts in their four-match series. With the opening test between the world's top two test teams beginning in Pune on Thursday, the odds are stacked heavily in favour of hosts India, who have gone 19 tests without defeat. In the final phase of their bumper home season, India are sitting pretty at the top of…

Australia captain allows sledging ahead of India test

MUMBAI: Australian captain Steve Smith raised the temperature Tuesday ahead of the first Test against India, calling on his players to "go for it" with the verbal volleys and on-field aggression. India-Australia series are notoriously feisty affairs -- the 2008 contest Down Under was almost called off following the infamous "Monkeygate" incident as animosity between the old foes threatened to boil over. There was then further bad blood during India's Test and one-day series in Australia prior to the 2015 World Cup when…