The hosts Australia and the visitors India will meet at Brisbane Cricket Ground (Woolloongabba, Brisbane) from Friday (15th January) morning during the last Test of the four-match Test series.
The winner of this upcoming Test match will win the Test series as this series is currently in level position by 1-1. This Test series started with the day/night pink-ball Test at Adelaide where the hosts won by 8 wickets. Then, India won the second game of this series by 8 wickets at Melbourne. While their first international game in this new calendar year was the Sydney Test, it ended with the draw result.
While it was expected that the hosts Australia would dominated against the non-full-fledged visiting side India in the Test series, they couldn’t manage to fulfil it.
After a big bad patch in Test cricket, Steven Smith finally returned to the form in Test cricket as he scored 131 and 81 during the last Test at Sydney. Meanwhile, Marnus Labuschagne has continued his good batting form in this series, and he scored two half-centuries in the Sydney Test by scoring 91 and 73 runs. The other Aussie batsmen are not consistent enough in this Test series. In the meantime, after returning to the game, David Warner scored 5 and 13 in the Sydney Test.
On the other hand, the Australian pacers are in good form, especially the right-arm pacers Pat Cummins and Josh Hazlewood. While Cummins is the leading wicket-taker in this Test series with 15 wickets, Hazelwood has bagged 11 wickets and currently he is the joint third most wicket-taker in this series. The left-arm pacer Mitchell Starc has also shown some strong bowling performances as he has taken 9 wickets in this Test series. Off-spinner Nathan Lyon isn’t in strong form in this series as he has picked up six wickets.
In the last Test, Aussie fielders also put down some crucial chances which highly affected in their game as that Test ended in a draw.
To win this Test series, Australia need to put strong team performance in the Brisbane Test and many expect that they can handle the injury-prone Indian team.
Latest full available squad
Tim Paine (C), Sean Abbott, Pat Cummins, Cameron Green, Marcus Harris, Josh Hazlewood, Travis Head, Moises Henriques, Marnus Labuschagne, Nathan Lyon, Michael Neser, James Pattinson, Steven Smith, Mitchell Starc, Mitchell Swepson, Matthew Wade, David Warner
Forms in the last 5 Tests (Oldest to latest): Won, Won, Won, Lost and Drew
Despite the absence of regular captain Virat Kohli and some other top Test players, the Indian team has shown strong character in this tough Test series in Australian tour. While Kohli-led India suffered a humiliating defeat in the first game of this Test series after getting all out for just 36 runs in their second innings, they have made a strong comeback despite the continuous injuries.
Shubman Gill, Rohit Sharma, Cheteshwar Pujara and stand-in captain Ajinkya Rahane all have shown some good and strong batting performances in this Test series. In the fourth innings of the last Test, Rishabh Pant shined in the crucial time while Hanuma Vihari and Ravichandran Ashwin never lost their battle despite hurtful injuries.
Ashwin is currently the second most wicket-taker in this Test series with 12 wickets. The right-arm pacer Jasprit Bumrah, who is injured and doubtful for the upcoming Test match, has also bagged 11 wickets in this Test series. Both the new pacers, Mohammed Siraj and Navdeep Saini have also shown their strong qualities with the ball in hand.
Despite too many odds in this tough away series, India have mostly shown their never give up character in brave way. Though now the team management is struggling to sort out a proper playing XI for the forthcoming Brisbane Test, some experts still believe that even the more unsettled Indian team can provide another magic performance to stop the strong hosts to win this Test series.
Latest full available squad
Ajinkya Rahane (C), Rohit Sharma (vc), Mayank Agarwal, Prithvi Shaw, Cheteshwar Pujara, Shubman Gill, Wriddhiman Saha (wk), Rishabh Pant (wk), Jasprit Bumrah, Navdeep Saini, Kuldeep Yadav, Ravichandran Ashwin, Mohammed Siraj, Shardul Thakur, Thangarasu Natarajan
Forms in the last 5 Tests (Oldest to latest): Lost, Lost, Lost, Won and Drew
This Test series has already proven why this format is beauty of the game. Though the visitors India have already put strong performances in most of the challenging performances, the hosts Australia are ultimately favourite for the final game of this Test series.
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