The fourth and final test of the closely contested series between India and Australia will take place in Brisbane from Jan 15 – 19. The Gabba has been a fortress for Australia and have not lost a test in Brisbane for the last 32 years. This coupled with the fact that the Indian team have suffered even more injuries, makes them heavy betting favorites.
Although the series is tied at 1-1, Australia goes in as the favorites with odds of 1/2 while India have odds of 9/2. The odds of a draw are currently at 7/2.
What Australia Must Do To Win?
Australia should have won the third test at the SCG and will be deeply disappointed that it ended in a draw. The Aussie fast bowlers bowled non-stop for four sessions and sent down over 130 overs. Their workload during the SCG test has been heavy and they will need to recover in time for the Brisbane test.
The Brisbane pitch is usually one of the fastest pitches in Australia. M Starc, J Hazelwood and Pat Cummins will need to be at their best to make early inroads into the Indian batting. Nathan Lyon is not expected to play a big role with regards to taking wickets but he will have to bowl a few overs to give the fast bowlers a respite. Cameron Green will also be expected to bowl a few more overs in Brisbane.
Tim Paine has won the toss for Australia in the last three tests. He will ideally like to win the toss in Brisbane and get India to bat on a fast and green deck. However, it would also mean his fast bowlers are once again in the field. Paine will ask his pace bowlers to put their hands up once more for Australia and bet at their best.
Australia’s batting line-up looks a lot more established after the SCG test. He will want them to fire again and make a big total in the first innings. If Australia can get a big score in the first innings and the fast bowlers can prevent the Indians from making partnerships, they will win in Brisbane.
What India Must Do To Win?
Even though India drew the SCG test, it will feel like a win for them as they showed tremendous grit and fighting spirit. Captain A Rahane will be reasonably happy with how his batsmen performed at the SCG.
R Sharma and S Gill looked a lot more confident at the top of the order. Pujara looks to be among the runs yet again and R Pant has shown that he can not only get runs but get them at a quick pace. Rahane had a poor test match at the SCG and will need to bat longer and score bigger runs at the Gabba. He has the technique to do so and will want to lead his side by performing.
However, Rahane is once again on the backfoot before the test starts. This is because team India have suffered multiple injuries. R Jadeja has been ruled out of the fourth test and so has J Bumrah. R Ashwin and H Vihari who saved the test for India at the SCG are also injured and are working against the clock to be fit for the Brisbane test.
If Vihari cannot play, India are likely to replace him with M Agarwal or P Shaw. India will play four seamers at the Gabba and there is no choice here as only four seamers are fit. M Siraj who is two tests old will lead the attack consisting of N Saini, S Thakur and T Natarajan. If Ashwin is not fit, K Yadav is likely to make an appearance.
India will definitely not be at full strength but if they can show the same character and fighting spirit at the SCG, we will have a good match on our hands.