Man of the Match: Steven Smith
India and Australia lock horns with series win on stake
INDIA will win the match and lead the series 2-1
Border-Gavaskar trophy has been one of the most anticipated test series in the recent past and the series has lived up to its expectation with both teams fighting hard to gain an upper hand over the other. India made a stunning comeback to win the boxing day test at the level the series 1-1 after a humiliating loss in the first test. Australia will be dejected with their loss in Melbourne after a dominating performance at Adelaide. A lot of talks have been going through about the strict quarantine protocols, their breach, etc. between the two team managements. India would look to win this match to retain the trophy while Australia will look to stop India from winning the trophy twice in a row in their home soil.
Australian batting unit failed to cross the 200-run mark in all their 3 completed innings this series. Mathew Wade, Marnus Labuschagne, and Chris Green have fared better with the bat in the last match with 30s and 40s but failed to make a big score. Steve Smith`s struggles has been their biggest problem. David Warner is all set to return to playing XI at the expense of Joe Burns.
Pace trio of Pat Cummins, Josh Hazlewood, and Mitchell Starc are phenomenal with the ball with their control and accuracy and are not giving any free runs to the Indians. Spinner Nathan Lyon has been a vital member getting crucial breakthroughs this season. Cameron green will serve as their fourth pace option in the team.
Marnus Labuschagne – Marnus scores read as 47,1,48, & 28 in this series. He got starts in 3 matches and failed to carry on and make a big score so far. He will look to score a century in this match.
Pat Cummins – Cummins has 10 wickets at an impressive average of 17.1 this series. He will look to dominate the Indian batsmen in this match too by sticking to his probing line and lengths.
Matthew Wade, David Warner, Marnus Labuschagne, Steven Smith, Travis Head/Will Pucovski, Cameron Green, Tim Paine (c & wk), Pat Cummins, Mitchell Starc, Nathan Lyon, Josh Hazlewood
Tim Paine, Marnus Labuschagne, Pat Cummins, Cameron Green, Mitchell Starc, William Pucovski, Matthew Wade, Josh Hazlewood, Steven Smith, David Warner, Nathan Lyon
Skipper Ajinkya Rahane lead the team from the front with his splendid century to help India post a good total of 326 runs on board in first innings. Ravindra Jadeja (57 runs), and Shubman Gill (45 & 35* runs) played crucial knocks with the bat to build partnerships in the middle. Cheteshwar Pujara, Hanuma Vihari, and Rishab pant got their eye in last match but failed to convert their starts into big knocks. Rohit Sharma will slot in the playing XI this match.
Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammed Siraj were the superb with the ball claiming 6 & 5 wickets respectively in the match and took the workload when Umesh was injured in the second innings. Ravi Ashwin and Ravi Jadeja not only held one end but also picked up wickets at regular intervals to lend support to the pacers. One of Saini, Natarajan, or Shardul Thakur will get a place in playing XI in this match.
Ajinkya Rahane – Rahane was sublime form last match with scores of 112 & 27* in the two innings. He will look to continue his good form with the bat in this match too and lead his team to a big score.
Ravi Ashwin – Ashwin has been a thorn in the Aussie middle order this series claiming 10 wickets and troubling the Steve Smith to a great extent. He might enjoy bowling on this track in Sydney.
Rohit Sharma, Shubman Gill, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane (c), Hanuma Vihari, Rishabh Pant (wk), Ravindra Jadeja, Ravichandran Ashwin, Shardul Thakur/T Natarajan, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Siraj
Mohammed Siraj, NA Saini, Ravichandran Ashwin, Ajinkya Rahane, Hanuma Vihari, Shubman Gill, Rohit Sharma, Ravindra Jadeja, Jasprit Bumrah, Cheteshwar Pujara, Rishabh Pant
|Hr||Temp||Rain||W. speed||W. direction||Clouds|
|00h||21||0 mm.||7.15 k/h||From: S||21%|
|03h||21||0.13 mm.||7.53 k/h||From: S||11%|
|06h||21||0.40 mm.||7.67 k/h||From: SSE||25%|
|09h||19||0.48 mm.||7.96 k/h||From: S||61%|
|12h||18||0.11 mm.||7.04 k/h||From: SSE||37%|
|15h||18||0.42 mm.||5.66 k/h||From: SSE||94%|
|18h||18||0.65 mm.||6.39 k/h||From: SSE||95%|
|21h||18||0.39 mm.||6.65 k/h||From: SSE||60%|
Sydney is expected to have a dark and cloudy weather on first day and there will be bright sunshine on the other days of the match. We expect weather won’t play a big role in this match.
Sydney is the most spinner friendly track in Australia where the ball might turn and bounce a lot from days 4 & 5. Batsmen will enjoy batting on the first 2-3 days of the match. We can expect first innings scores of around 300-350 runs on this pitch.
Batting first is best option in test cricket as the pitch might get tougher to bat in the fourth innings. Overcast conditions on the first day might make the captaisn think about bowling first.
India has been dominating Australia for the most part of the Test series barring their shambolic session on Day 3 in Adelaide. Their bowling unit relies heavily on Bumrah & Ashwin as they miss the services of Ishant Sharma, Umesh Yadav and Mohammed Shami in this Test. Australia have a pace bowling attack that is second to none in their home conditions and will look to attack the Indian batting line-up with more intent in this match. David Warner will look to sort the batting issues at the top of the order for their team. We expect India to win this match as Sydney is slightly a sub-continental type of pitch and they are high on confidence after winning the last Test.
INDIA will win the match and lead the series 2-1