The summer of Test cricket begins tomorrow with the clash between Australia and India at the Adelaide Oval.
The first Test was originally slated to start last Thursday at the Gabba but was postponed following the death of Australian batsman, Phillip Hughes.
The atmosphere both on and off the pitch will be unlike any other, with a number of tributes to the late Hughes planned.
The temporary memorial to Hughes outside the Adelaide Oval will be maintained throughout the Test match.
A tribute, narrated by cricket great Richie Benaud, will be shown on the big screen with 63 seconds of applause to follow.
Hughes’ former Australian teammates will carry his Test number, 408, on their shirts for the Test match.
Fast bowler, Mitchell Johnson has said that he is ready to go for the match and that he feels that getting out and playing cricket is something that will help put him at ease.
In team news, Michael Clarke has been declared fit, with the Australian captain saying that he is determined to play the Test to honour his good mate.
Shaun Marsh, who was on stand-by for the captain, has returned to Western Australia.
Brad Haddin has also passed fitness tests on his shoulder while Glenn Maxwell has been dropped following the return of Shane Watson.
Mitchell Starc makes way for Ryan Harris with Josh Hazlewood named as 12th man.
Phillip Hughes has been named 13th man.
For India they have only made the one change from the squad that faced England.
M.S. Dhoni has failed to overcome a finger injury with Virat Kohli taking over the captaincy and Wriddhiman Saha will take the gloves.
The Australians come into the series having lost just three of their last 10 Tests. Two of those losses though came via shellackings at the hands of Pakistan in the United Arab Emirates.
However, back at home and on the faster, bouncier pitches, Australia has the clear advantage.
The major weakness for the hosts is their number three position with no batsman being able to lay claim to the position since the retirement of Ricky Ponting.
Indian opener, Shikhar Dhawan, has said that he intends to fight fire with fire and go head to head with paceman, Mitchell Johnson.
Dhawan, whilst a dashing opener when in India, struggled when on tour in England this year, averaging just 20.33.
He has only ever faced Johnson in India, where the pitches carry nowhere near the bounce they do in Australia and nor has he faced Johnson in the form he has displayed these past 12 months.
Graeme Smith said he would do the same when Australia toured South Africa earlier in the year, and Smith promptly retired during the series following a barrage from Johnson.
Adelaide is very often a Test that reaches five days with the pitch containing variable bounce and occasional differing pace.
But once a batsman is in he is difficult to dismiss and can score freely.
As at all Australian grounds though, it requires sustained pressure from the fast bowlers and a dependable spinner to take wickets.
Australia’s pace trio of Siddle, Harris and Johnson will be ably supported by Mitchell Marsh and, if needed, Shane Watson.
India’s pace attack of Ishant Sharma, Varun Aaron, Umesh Yadav, Mohammad Shami and Bhuvneshawar Khumar, whilst all with different skillsets, have played very little cricket in Australia and only Varun Aaron bowls with genuine pace.
Harris, Johnson and Siddle are all capable of 140km/h plus with both Johnson and Harris capable of swinging the ball both ways, whilst Siddle keeps his almost metronome-like line and length.
On paper, Australia appears far too strong. The largest factor is clearly how each player copes emotionally in what will be a real test of their resolve.
David Warner is in good touch, as is Steve Smith. Chris Rogers will do an admirable job at the top with Shane Watson likely to contribute along the line.
Michael Clarke has struggled for runs since his brave stand in South Africa so expect the Australian captain to make a statement at one of his happiest hunting grounds.
This Test will be so much more than a cricket match, so tune in as Australia and India clash and both sides remember a kid from the bush who just wanted to play cricket.