India wary of the Australian challenge ahead of the 4th test


India will clash against Australia in the fourth and final test of the Border Gavaskar Trophy at Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad. Australia bounced back from the dead in the 3rd test match to give a massive boost of confidence to the Australian side. With this win, Australia book their ticket to the Oval where the final of the World Test Championship will be played.

According to sources, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Australian colleague Anthony Albanese will be in Gujarat for a two-day visit starting on Wednesday. They will attend the opening day of the fourth Test match between the two nations on March 9 at the Narendra Modi stadium in Ahmedabad.

Steve Smith marshaled his troops in the absence of Pat Cummins exceedingly well. Smith who said that he likes captaining in India became the second captain after Allistar Cook to win 2 matches in India. Australia now has the chance to level the series which would be a massive win for the country. It was like watching a chess player planning his every move. The unique field setup for Lyon against Pujara where he had 7 fielders on the leg side denying singles to Pujara was one of his masterstrokes. ante against the spinners, Smith immediately brought Starc into the attack to knock off the Indian number 5.

The Kangaroos are getting their pieces perfectly together with the series decider approach. The injury to David Warner and the absence of Pat Cummins have been a blessing in disguise for them. Travis Head has shown excellent application and has pounced on anything loose. The return of Mitchell Starc and Cameron Green has given enormous balance to the side which has allowed them to play 3 spinners and 2 pacers. The trio of Nathon Lyon, Matt Kuhnemann, and Todd Murphy are complementing each other and keeping constant pressure on the Indian batters.

India would be hoping that this was a one-off bad performance and should not dive deep into overanalyzing what went wrong. One of the batters needs to get a big hundred along with small partnerships by others. One of the positive things for India was the half-century of Pujara in the second innings. The batter looked like his older self and was assured in defense and attack. India would think of promoting Axar Patel higher in the order as he has looked too good a batter to be playing a number 9 . India desperately needs runs from the middle-order batters. If India is likely to prepare another turner, they would think of dropping one of the pacers and playing an extra batter in Suryakumar Yadav to support the failing middle order. India would be wary of tackling the Lyon threat and have to put him under pressure by doing something different.

Pitch Report

The pitch has been the constant topic of discussion in this series. According to reports, the management has not given any specifications on how to make the pitch. In fact, in the most recent Ranji match played here in January, Gujarat scored more than 200 in both innings despite losing the game by an innings to Railways, who reached 500 plus (508) batting first. This time won’t be all that different.

India might think of making a flat pitch as even a draw would help them qualify for the final of the World Test Championship.

Probable playing XI


Australia is unlikely to make any changes to their playing XI. They are most likely to play the same team.

Aus XI: Usman Khawaja, Travis Head, Marnus Labuschagne, Steven Smith (c), Peter Handscomb, Cameron Green, Alex Carey (wk), Mitchell Starc, Nathan Lyon, Todd Murphy, Matthew Kuhnemann


India might look to play an extra bowler. There also was news that Ishan Kishan might debut in the fourth test. It would be very harsh on the Andhra wicketkeeper if he is dropped from the playing 11.

Ind XI: Rohit Sharma (c), Shubman Gill, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli, Shreyas Iyer, Ravindra Jadeja, Srikar Bharat (wk)/ Ishan Kishan, Axar Patel, Ravichandran Ashwin, Umesh Yadav, Mohammed Siraj/Mohammad Shami/ Suryakumar Yadav

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