Stronger Team, New Captain and Quicker Pitch awaits Indians at Gabba – Brisbane
Before India celebrates return of Dhoni – The Captain Cool, Australia has started delivering punches after punches, even before the toss begins. Indians might have been secretly happy as Clarke to be missed out but Australia did not waste any time in declaring Steve Smith as their captain.
Let’s look at some of the bad news that India has to deal with.
1. Australia won the first test and India is already behind in test series.
2. India has not played a test at Gabba in last two times which means all players will be playing their first test at Gabba.
3. India has never won a test match at Brisbane.
4. Last test match that Australia lost at Gabba was some time in 1980’s when Vivian Richards (captain)’s team had Marshall, Ambrose and Walsh (and top 5 batsman as Haynes, Greenidge, Richardson, Richards and Logie with Hooper as all rounder and Dujon as keeper).
5. Two of the weakest links in Australian team: R.Harris and P.Siddle has been dropped and re-inforcement includes Pace of Hazelwood and left armer Starc.
6. Australia will be playing two brothers (Mitchell and Shaun) after Mark Waugh and Steve Waugh more than a decade ago.
So Overall, a tragedy awaits at Gabba for Indians. Unlike Australians, Indians are not quick in their changes. Although it is almost sure that R.Ashwin will replace Karn Sharma, there are no news to change three fast bowlers. Mohd Shami was not at all impressive and V.Aaron was wayward. Ideally, had B.Kumar been fit, could have replaced Shami and Umesh Yadav could have replced V.Aaron. Although V.Aaron deserve another chance, Umesh Yadav should be preferred over Shami. Ideally, India should go in with 5 bowlers: Ishant Sharma, Varun Aaron, Umesh Yadav, Shami Mohammed and R.Ashwin. Considering Dhoni is a better wicket keeper batsman, he should be able to serve the need of 6th batsman. However, India going in with 5 bowlers is highly unlikely. Apart from Dhoni’s return, only good news that India carry at Gabba from Adelaide is Return of Form of Virat Kohli. If Kohli plays at least one inning like he played 2 in Adelaide, India have better propsect of doing good. But if India lose this test, there goes another chance of winning a test series in Australia and then it will be return of 4-0 debacle. With everything to play for Will India stand up?
Australia: 1 Chris Rogers, 2 David Warner, 3 Shane Watson, 4 Steven Smith (capt), 5 Shaun Marsh, 6 Mitchell Marsh, 7 Brad Haddin (wk), 8 Mitchell Johnson, 9 Mitchell Starc, 10 Josh Hazlewood, 11 Nathan Lyon.
India: 1 M Vijay, 2 Shikhar Dhawan, 3 Cheteshwar Pujara, 4 Virat Kohli, 5 Ajinkya Rahane, 6 Rohit Sharma, 7 MS Dhoni (capt,wk), 8 R Ashwin, 9 Varun Aaron, 10 Ishant Sharma, 11 Umesh Yadav.