4th TEST, PREVIEW: India battle injuries ahead of Gabba Test
The fourth and final Test of the Border Gavaskar Trophy is about to begin at the Gabba with India and Australia locked 1-1. Australia have never been beaten on this ground since 1988 and that’s something which will boost their morale a little after a draw in the last match at the SCG, which almost felt like a defeat for the hosts. Having said that, the Indian team has been oozing confidence despite having their resources stretched due to injuries and will look to clinch a win at the venue for the first time and also the series.
India have been plagued with fitness issues and haven’t even decided on the Playing XI yet. Ravindra Jadeja and the hero of last match Hanuma Vihari are ruled out of the series due to injuries and even R Ashwin, who won our heart with his batting resilience at SCG, is not confirmed yet after receiving major body blows during his 39*-run knock on the last day of the Test.
Jasprit Bumrah is still uncertain and a fitness test tomorrow morning will finalise if he would be in the playing XI or not. T Natarajan or Shardul Thakur might be looked at in case Bumrah fails to make the cut.
Australia have already named Marcus Harris in place of an injured Will Puckovski. India, however, are yet to take a call on the replacements for Jadeja and Vihari. Our wicketkeeper for the series Rishabh Pant is fit to play and it will be interesting to see if another ‘keeper Wriddhiman Saha gets a shot or it’s Mayank Agarwal who is brought back in. Kuldeep Yadav may finally get a chance to play as Jadeja’s bowling services will be missed.
Talking about India’s records, India have played six Tests at Brisbane but never won any. But the way Ajinkya Rahane and his boys have made a comeback in the last Test match, it underlines the fact that the team has been in high spirit. Batting coach Vikram Rathoud vouched for the same.
The youngsters in the Indian fold have shown a lot of promise, especially Shubman Gill and Md Siraj. Gill’s consistency and class have impressed all alike and after his four innings of 45, 35*, 50 and 31, all of us will look forward to seeing a memorable knock from him before India wrap up from Australia. Md Siraj, too, has been remarkable with the ball, taking 7 wickets in two matches.