India’s bowlers have combined experience of 4 matches in the Brisbane Test
India has entered the fourth and final Test match between India and Australia at the Gabba, Brisbane with almost no bowling experience. India’s bowling options are Shardul Thakur, Mohammad Siraj, Navdeep Saini, T Natarajan and Washington Sundar. Shardul is playing his second match, Siraj is playing his third, Navdeep Saini is playing his second, and Natarajan and Sundar are debuting in this match. In total, the five bowlers have an experience of 4 test matches between them. This is probably the least bowling experience Indian bowling attack for India in an international Test Cricket.
India has not opted for this inexperience bowling attack as a tactic, or future plan. This has happened because every bowler (in the preferred 11) that came on Australia tour is injured. The list includes big names like Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammad Shami, Umesh Yadav, Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja. India is already missing Virat Kohli as he moved back to India for parental duty after first Test match.
How the bowlers got injured?
Mohammad Shami sustained a fractured forearm while trying to fend a short ball from Pat Cummins in the first Test match at Adelaide. He was ruled out of the remaining three matches. Umesh Yadav hobbled out of the field during the match with a calf muscle injury. Ravichandran Ashwin who had bowled more than 134 overs in the series, is suffering from back spasms and found it difficult even to tie his boot laces or sleep. Jasprit Bumrah suffered an abdominal strain during the third match while chasing a ball to the boundary. Ravindra Jadeja received a knock on his left thumb from a short delivery bowled by Mitchell Starc in Sydney. Later during scans, it was found out that there were dislocation and even thumb fracture.
Indian team is playing the final Test with 5 specialist bowlers to counter the absence of their strike bowlers. In the earlier three matches, India had played with only four bowlers or four bowlers and Ravindra Jadeja but for the final and decisive match, they have strengthened their bowling. Washington Sundar was chosen in place of Kuldeep Yadav to accommodate the lower middle order which looks vulnerable in the absence of Hanuma Vihari, R Ashwin and R Jadeja. Sundar is not a big spinner of the bowl and but has excellent control on line and length. Also, the wicket of Brisbane is not expected to help the spinners a lot, especially Kuldeep Yadav who is a wrist spinner. This could also be the reason behind Sundar’s inclusion in the playing eleven.
Batting would be the key for Brisbane Test
The absence of KL Rahul has left India with no other option than playing Mayank Agarwal despite two openers Rohit Sharma and Shubhman Gill. Agarwal is expected to bat at number 5, however, we won’t be surprised if Rohit is asked to do the same and Mayank gets promoted to opening with Shubhman Gill. KL Rahul injured his wrist while batting at the MCG’s nets. He was sent back to India to recuperate before the England series.
The Brisbane Test will depend a lot on how the big names of Indian cricket, Rohit Sharma, Cheteshwar Pujara and Captain Ajijnkya Rahane plays. India could win this match only if one or two of these three makes a big score in both the innings. Ajinkya Rahane is the only player in this Test series to score a century. Pujara seems to get his rhythm back despite going through two run-crunch innings. Rishabh Pant will also play a crucial role as he would look to attack Australia at their den. Shubhman Gill, who has looked very promising in this series would love to get a big score in the final match of the tour. His highest score in only 50 in this series, but has an average of more than 53. He has looked very impressive so far and never looked uncomfortable even against the new ball in front of Pat Cummins, Mitchell Starc and Josh Hazlewood.
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