India and Australia will be up against each other in the last Test of the four-match series, starting from January 15 at The Gabba in Brisbane. Though the visitors have done a fine job in the series thus far as it is leveled at 1-1, they will be riding low of confidence due to the truckload of injuries that have plagued them.
India will be without the services of their four pace sensations including Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Shami, Umesh Yadav, and Ishant Sharma as all of them have suffered injuries in the recent past. Adding to the misery, the veteran all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja and batsman Hanuma Vihari will also be giving the series-decider a miss after sustaining injuries in the third Test at SCG.
With a series of injuries, the management is not left with many choices while selecting the Playing XI. Though India will not be entering the series decider with their full strength, they will try to give their best shot to win the match and series and retain the prestigious Border-Gavaskar Trophy.
In the article, let’s take a look at India’s Predicted Playing XI for the Brisbane Test:-
Openers (Rohit Sharma Shubman Gill)
The torrid form of India’s regular Test opening duo of Mayank Agarwal and Prithvi Shaw paved the way for young Shubman Gill and Rohit Sharma in the playing XI in the Australia series. Gill had made his debut in the Melbourne Test and showed his character by playing remarkable knocks of 45 and 35 not out. This was followed by the 22-year-old scoring his first half-century in the Sydney Test.
Rohit, on the other hand, was added to the squad for the third Test at SCG after he completed his quarantine period. Despite not playing competitive cricket for nearly two months, the opening batsman scored 26 runs followed by a half-century in two innings respectively.
Middle-order (Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane (C) Rishabh Pant, Wriddhiman Saha (wk))
Cheteshwar Pujara forms the backbone of India’s line-up in the purest format of the game. Known for his resilience and valiance, Pujara will be looking forward to scoring big in Brisbane to help India win the fourth Test and the marquee series. After suffering from a poor run, Pujara regained his form in Sydney Test as he played a classic Test knock of 77 runs off 205 deliveries.
In the absence of Virat Kohli, stand-in captain Ajinkya Rahane promoted himself up the batting order and has done a fine job while batting at Number 4. Rahane is the only Indian batsman to score a century in this Test series against Australia thus far and will love to again contribute with his willow.
Rishabh Pant played an aggressive knock in the third Test as India managed to draw the marquee match, however, the youngster failed to give justice to his job as a wicketkeeper. Thus, India can look at Wriddhiman Saha as the first-choice wicketkeeper and keep both Pant and Saha in the playing XI as Hanuma Vihari has been ruled out of the series.
While Pant will give depth to India’s batting line-up and can essay the role of an aggressive batsman, Saha has more experience of donning the gloves and can cash in on the opportunities provided by the bowlers to dismiss the opposition behind the stumps.
All-rounders (Ravichandran Ashwin, Washington Sundar)
India’s veteran spinner Ravichandran Ashwin might be the most experienced bowler among the lot in the fourth Test as all the other regular spinners and pacers have suffered injuries in the recent past. There is no doubt on the selection of Ravi Ashwin in the Playing XI as he strikes with both the bat and ball and is a go-to-bowler for any captain in the longest format.
The right-arm off-spinner and left-handed batsman Washington Sundar stands a massive chance to make a Test debut for India in the fourth Test against Australia. He can be a perfect like-for-like replacement for an injured Ravindra Jadeja as he can be handy with the bat and is an off-spinner.
Sundar has so far played 25 T20Is for India and picked up 21 wickets at an average of 29.14. The 21-year-old is known for his ability to bowl parsimonious spells and mounting pressure on the opposition.
Bowlers (Navdeep Saini, Mohammed Siraj, Shardul Thakur)
India is expected to enter the fourth Test at The Gabba with a completely inexperienced squad due to the injury woes of Indian pacers. Mohammed Siraj, who made his debut in the second Test at Melbourne, will be the most experienced pacer having played two Test matches as Navdeep Saini made his debut at SCG while Shardul Thakur has featured in just one Test in 2018.
Siraj has done a decent job in the Test format thus far picking up 5 wickets on his debut followed by 2 wickets in the Sydney Test at an average of 33.43 and economy rate of 2.71. Saini, on the other hand, needs to work on his economy as though he picked as many as 4 wickets on his debut, he proved to be a little expensive.
Shardul Thakur didn’t have an ideal start in Test format as he got injured in his first over itself. However, the pacer will be looking forward to making most of the second chance provided to him by rattling the opposition with his pace and bouncers.
Source: The source of this content is our cricket news platform Crictracker.
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