Preview: Depleted India look to take on mighty Australians again
Updated - Dec 22, 2014 2:01 pm
Depleted India look to take on mighty Australians again: After defeat in the first two tests, India would look to turn around and rise from the ashes but the chances look bleak as the Australian team continues to look upon the Indian team as an easy prey. The results deteriorated as the series moved from Adelaide to Brisbane, as the second test went on to end in the dying moments of the fourth day’s play. Believe it or not, if Australia would not have pushed to finish the match by the fourth day.
If records are anything to go by, India did not win a test match at Melbourne in the past two decades, losing in their tours to Australia of 1992, 2003, 2007 and 2011. But MS Dhoni would look to turn the tide against all odds. With already 2-0 up in the series, Australia would not lose the series from here and Steven Smith, their captain has promised that Australia would go hammer and tongs to win the test.
India: India are under immense pressure as they go into the Boxing Day Test facing the prospect of 16th defeat away from home since they won the 2011 World Cup. If India lose the series 3-0 or 4-0, they will drop down to 7th place in the Test Rankings, a new low that they will touch for the first time since 2000. Bhuvneshwar Kumar is fit and is set to return to the playing XI, in place of Varun Aaron. India’s other problem is slip catching and they may relieve Rohit Sharma from his duties to make way for Suresh Raina. The other problem in the side is Shikhar Dhawan’s fitness and if he is not fit to play the game, Wriddhiman Saha may get another chance, but to play as a specialist batsman.
Probable XI: Ajinkya Rahane, Murali Vijay, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli, Suresh Raina, Wriddhiman Saha, MS Dhoni (c/wk), Ravichandran Ashwin, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Umesh Yadav, Ishant Sharma
Form Guide (Most Recent First): L L L L L
Australia: Under a new captain, Australia have started their campaign quite well but they have injury issues going into the Boxing Day Test. Mitchell Marsh is not fit to bowl and his place in the side will be taken up by the new comer, Joe Burns, who can bat anywhere from number 1 to number 6. Burns comes into the side after piling up 439 runs at an average of 54.87 during the recent Australian first-class season. The pressure will be on Shane Watson and Brad Haddin, as they will be keen to prove a point after a string of low scores. Ryan Harris is fit again and he is set to return to the side at the cost of Mitchell Starc.
Probable XI: David Warner, Chris Rogers, Shane Watson, Steven Smith (c), Joe Burns, Shaun Marsh, Brad Haddin (wk), Mitchell Johnson, Nathan Lyon, Ryan Harris, Josh Hazelwood
Form Guide (Most Recent First): W W L L W
Darren Lehmann, the Australian coach on Joe Burns: I’ll have to speak to Steven [Smith], the skipper about that. But he can fit anywhere from 1 to 6. That’s the advantage with Joe, he can bat in the middle order or up high. We’ve got some flexibility there. It depends on which way we want to go.
Mahendra Singh Dhoni on India’s chances in the series: There are plenty of positives because we have been able to take plenty of wickets, which I think is important to win Test matches. Overall you see there have been plenty of areas which we can say that a lot of improvement has been made, but we are not crossing the line. That crossing the line is more like a wine that is brewing. Once they start crossing the line and start harnessing the aggression in right channels, you will see plenty of good results from this side.