In what would be a rarest of a rare event, the Australian Cricket Team will be cheering for their Ashes rivals England during the fourth and final Test between hosts India and the Joe Root-led visitors at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad.
Australia’s hopes of claiming a spot in the inaugural ICC Test Championship final rest on England winning the last Test in Ahmedabad as it will help them pip Virat Kohli’s men on percentage points in the table.
A win for India or even a draw will confirm the home sides’ berth in the marquee encounter at Lord’s against England.
Australia’s assistant coach Andrew McDoland made no bones about the fact that his side will be cheering the ‘Three Lions’ in the final Test against India later this week.
“Bit of self-interest there, isn’t it, for us following England for the first time in a long time,” Australia coach Andrew McDonald told reporters as quoted by Reuters. “We’ll be hoping that they can do the job there.” he added.
Andrew McDonald, however, admitted it would be tough for England to stage a comeback in the Test series considering the kind of surfaces that have been dished out by the hosts in the last two games.
After having won the first Test by 227 runs in Chennai, England endured a rude shock in the succeeding games as India mauled the Joe Root-led unit by 317 runs and ten wickets at Chepauk and Ahmedabad respectively. As a result, England can no longer make it to the ICC Test Championship final but they can still do a favor to their Ashes foes if they manage to beat India in the last Test.
“It’s going to be difficult, no doubt. Some of the surfaces they’ve played on are conducive to spin bowling and probably India’s strengths are in their ability to play spin as well,” said McDonald. We wish (England) well, see what unfolds. It’s out of our hands but we’ll be watching on with interest.” he added.
The 4th and final Test between India and England will get underway in Ahmedabad from March 04.