The Gabba will be the theatre for the final chapter of this series where the two teams will give it their all either to retain or regain the Border-Gavaskar trophy. The series is level at 1-1 after India managed to draw the SCG Test after winning the third Test match in Melbourne to stay alive in the series. The Gabba thus is all set for the decider. A win at The Gabba will give India their second successive Test series victory over the Australians. More about the 4th Test preview in detail below.
Team India is more confident of the two teams heading into the final Test at The Gabba. Having earned a draw in the third Test will give them immense confidence of pulling off yet another unprecedented achievement. However, they have their backs to the wall with all their key players injured. Also, they are various kinds of injuries. With India willing to breach Australia’s fortress, them missing key players due to injuries might work against them.
Meanwhile, the likes of Rohit Sharma Shubman Gill, Rishabh Pant and Cheteshwar Pujara all getting runs in the third Test means that they are back in form. Pant in particular will carry that x-factor of explosion with him which might keep the Australian bowlers on the edge. His elbow looked good when he batted in the second innings and for India’s sake, he will like to take good care of it in the meantime. There might be a case of Pant and Wriddhiman Saha playing together in the Test match.
Injury Concerns For Team India
The team has a few options now in the batting order now with Ravindra Jadeja being ruled out. Mayank Agarwal, Prithvi Shaw and Saha all have an outside chance of playing the Test match as a batsman as India might look to go ahead with seven specialist bowlers.
Meanwhile, Jasprit Bumrah being ruled has opened up a spot for the bowling bench strength as well. Either of Shardul Thakur, T Natarajan, Kuldeep Yadav and Washington Sundar makes a case for themselves to be selected. It will be interesting to see the final call in this selection headache.
Australia, meanwhile, are struggling to find the right opening combination as well. David Warner did not have a good game and he would like to make amends at the Gabba. Will Pucovski has been ruled out of the series while his replacement has been named in the form of Marcus Harris. Harris was a part of the squad for the three Tests earlier but did not find a place in the XI. Tim Paine the batsman would like to contribute a bit more with the bat. He will like to improve on his keeping and catching skills as well. There are still question marks around Matthew Wade’s inclusion in the XI. If not, Travis Head will take his place but both are not in the best of form.
Australia will go into the Test match having a better bowling attack both in terms of quality and pace. All three pacers will hold onto their place with this being a decider. Also, their good track record at this venue will give confidence to the selectors to keep them together. Nathan Lyon who will be playing his 100th Test match at this venue also boasts of a good track record with 35 wickets from nine games.
Head to Head
Out of 101 matches played between both teams, Australia have won 43 while India 29. While 28 of the matches have ended in draws.
Pitch & Weather Conditions
The Gabba has been historically a good batting wicket. Australian batsmen have had rich success at this venue but not many foreign batsman. A first innings score between 300 to 250 will be on par. Bowling too short is not something bowlers from both teams should keep in mind. The pitch has runs for the taking.
Meanwhile, the weather for this game is not too cricket friendly. Rain is predicted on all five days of the Test match. As per the weather forecast, intermittent rainfall is expected to be witnessed in the city on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. On Monday and Tuesday, moderate rain is expected to come downpouring at the Gabba, making it difficult for the organisers to have uninterrupted progress of the Test match.
Team News Ahead of 4th Test
India have a number of injury concerns and a final say on the playing XI will only happen before the match as per batting coach Vikram Rathod.
Australia meanwhile, will look to sort out their opening combination and hope that their big players Steve Smith and David Warner make substantial contributions at a venue they have tasted success in the past.
The Gabba has been Australia’s fortress, and they have not lost a Test there since 1988 – an unbeaten streak of 28 games. In the 62 Tests the Aussies have played in Brisbane to date, they have won 40, drawn 13, tied one, and lost eight matches. Meanwhile, India are yet to win a Test match at this venue. They have lost all their previous six games played here.
Squads For 4th Test
David Warner, Marcus Harris, Marnus Labuschagne, Steven Smith, Matthew Wade, Cameron Green, Tim Paine(w/c), Pat Cummins, Mitchell Starc, Nathan Lyon, Josh Hazlewood, Moises Henriques, Travis Head, Michael Neser, Sean Abbott, Mitchell Swepson, James Pattinson
Rohit Sharma, Shubman Gill, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane(c), Mayank Agarwal, Rishabh Pant(w), Ravichandran Ashwin, Shardul Thakur, Navdeep Saini, Mohammed Siraj, Jasprit Bumrah, T Natarajan, Wriddhiman Saha, Kuldeep Yadav, Prithvi Shaw