With an aim to win the final Test at The Gabba Team India led by Ajinkya Rahane took the field on Friday morning. Ridden by a number of injuries, two debutants were named in the playing XI. Washington Sundar and T Natarajan were given debut caps as India looked to plug the loopholes in their bowling attack. Coming to the fourth and final Test, India are now without R Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Jasprit Bumrah and Hanuma Vihari due to respective injuries.
Hence, the Ajinkya Rahane-led India came up with several forced changes in the playing XI for the fourth and final Test versus Tim Paine-led Australia at The Gabba, Brisbane on Friday (January 15). With the series tied at 1-1, the visitors have as many as two debutants in the line-up due to several senior players’ unavailability with several injury concerns.
India have used as many as 20 players from the squad for this Test series. This is the most players used by them since 1961/62. Apart from Rahane and No. 3 Cheteshwar Pujara, no one has featured in all four Tests in the current Australian summer.
Most players used by Team India in an away Test series:
20: India Tour of Australia 2020-21
17 players each:
England tour, 2018
Australia tour, 2014-15
England tour in 1959
Ajinkya Rahane said about the injury-prone Indian side at the moment. They are almost playing a second-string Test side after almost all of their regular players were ruled out due to injury.
At the coin toss, Rahane stated, “We had to make changes, but it’s an opportunity for others. Looking forward to start well. Both the debutants play the shorter formats, just want them to enjoy the game. Thakur, Mayank, Natarajan and Sundar are playing. This is a big rivalry for us. We don’t want to think too far ahead, just want to start well.”
Meanwhile, the Gabba Test is the decider of the series after Team India managed to draw the SCG Test. India lost the first Test in Adelaide to bounce back strongly with a win in the second Test in Melbourne.