14 The 36 all out of India in the first Test match seems to be a distant memory now. India won the second Test match at the MCG and saved a lost Test match in the 3d Test at the SCG.
At the end of the third Test, Australian captain Tim Paine admitted that his bowlers were getting frustrated in the fifth and final day, as India batted 131 overs to save the Test.
However, the final match is at the Gabba, where Australia stand undefeated for 30 years. India is also struggling with multiple injury concerns, so much that they even run the risk of being short of players to chose from.
Australia remained dominant in the majority portions of the last Test match. Just that they could not end up on the winning side due to the strong grit and determination shown by the Indian batsmen. One of the major disappointments for them was Nathan Lyon. The team expected him to come good on the fifth and final day of the Test match. However, he could pick up only two wickets in the Test match. Australia still arrives at the Gabba with their hopes flying high. The Aussies love playing at the Gabba and their undefeated record also points towards it.
Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazelwood, and Pat Cummins will enjoy bowling on this hard and bouncy track. Although they have bowled a lot of overs, still they will hold their place in the series decider. There is a certain injury concern in the batting line up. Will Pucovsky, who made his debut in the last Test had suffered a shoulder injury in the last Test. So, his presence in the fourth Test remains doubtful. Steve Smith’s return to form will boost up Australia’s confidence along with Marnus Labuschagne’s consistent show with the bat in this series. At the Gabba, first innings score remains vital. Although Australian batting is not firing at full force, it still will hold a key against a depleted Indian bowling attack.
It is very difficult to predict which 11 players from India will take the field in the final Test match of the series, given the injury concerns they have. Virat Kohli, Mohammed Shami, Ishant Sharma, Bhuvaneshwar Kumar and Umesha Yadav, KL Rahul were already out of the squad. Now, Hanuma Vihari and Ravindra Jadeja have been ruled out due to injury. Rishabh Pant and Ravichandran Ashwin are also carrying injury scare. So, their inclusion in the final Test is also in doubt. India’s main fast bowler Jasprit Bumrah is also expected to be out of the final Test match. It is really unlucky for Team India that their best fast bowler will not be able to bowl in the pitch which will give him the most help of all the surfaces in this series.
The bowling attack could have the likes of Mohammad Siraj, Navdeep Saini, and Shardul Thakur/ T Natarajan as the fast bowlers with Kuldeep Yadav as the fourth bowler. This is really a very inexperienced bowling attack for India. India will have a certain significant void in the batting line up as well. Ravindra Jadeja and Hanuma Vihari’s absence will have a big hole to fill. Shubman Gill, Rohit Sharma, Mayank Aggarwal, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane, Rishab Pant, and Wriddhiman Saha could make the batting line up. India will have to play each and every batsman that is left for selection.
These two teams played each other 100 times where Australia won 43 games, while India won remaining 29 games. The last game between the two teams was a well-fought draw.
Australia holds the advantage as they are basically with their full strength squad against a depleted India team hampered by injuries. However, Ajinkya Rahane’s team should not be counted out as they have shown strong grit and determination in this series to fight. Hence, they will again give their all in Brisbane.
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