ICC Test Championship
Border Gavaskar Test Series; 4th Vodaphone Test Series
Australia VS India Played at Woolloongabba, Brisbane from 15-19 January 2021
Brief Score Card At Stumps Day One;
Australia 1st Innings 274/5 (Marnus Labuchangne 108 , Matthew Wade 48, Steve Smith 36 ,Tim Pain 38* , Cameroon Green 28* , T Natarajan 2/63, Mohammad Siraj 1/51, Shardul Thakur 1/67 , Washington Sudar 1/ 63)
In an absorbing day's play of intense contest of bat and ball Australia managing a core of 274/5 appears at distinct advantage of the all-important fourth and final test of highly contested Australia India test series.
Wooloongabba is a fortress of Team Australia where they have not lost a test since losing to West Indies in 1988. India has never won a test there. The highly contested series is locked at 1-1 after three tests. Australia won by 8 wickets at Adelaide, India bounced back winning by identical margin at MCG. Then the third test at SCG ended in a dramatic fashion as India salvaged and honorable draw. India would retain Border Gavaskar Trophy if only they can avoid a defeat. Australia desperately needs winning. Winner will also brighten possibility of playing the final of ICC test championship.
India appeared with a depleted unit losing all its front-line bowling options (Ishant Sharma, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammad Sami, Yadav and Jadeja) through injury. Virat Kohli went back home for personal reasons. Vihari also was not available. Second string pace attack of India with Rookies Siraj, Saini, Shadul Thakur along with debutants Natarjan and Washington Sundar made the attack on a wicket traditionally assisting pace and bounce. India appeared with four changes. Australia also had to replace injured Will Pucovski with Marcus Harris.
Winning the toss Australia gained advantage as traditionally first two days are the best time for batting at Gabba. Though the wicket favors pace and bounce early on it eases out a little by lunch on day one till wickets gathering turn and disconcerting bounce from day three.
India new looking new ball attack however looked very impressive in the first hour. Warner was fooled yet again by impressive Siarj caught smartly by Rohit in the slips for 1. This series left Warner in nightmare. Thakur moving the ball appreciably created tension. Finally, he got rid of Marcus Harris struggling to find his feet for 5. By 9th over Australia was reduced to 17/2. This brought in two prolific Australian batsmen Marnus Labuchangne and Steve Smith once again together. They put together 70 runs for the third wicket and was looking ominous. But debutant Washington Sundar dealt a severe blow to Australian cause having Smith out at 36 before he could inflict damage. Labuchagne went on and on. India could press home the advantage if it could take their chances offered by Labuchangne. Instead Labuchange and Wade batting sensibly added 113 for the fourth wicket. Natrajan the most impressive of the Indian bowlers had Wade caught by Thakur at 48. Labuchangne went on scoring yet another test century ( 108 ) before falling to Natarajan. However, Captain Paine pairing with impressive Rookie Green stayed till stumps adding 61 runs in the unbroken 6th wicket partnership. 274/5 on a wicket potentially a pace bowlers fortress on day three and onwards is a good score. If Australia can somehow manage 400 their tall pacers exploiting the pace and bounce will make it extremely difficult for India to survive.
But any way India in this series has shown lot of resolve. But with depleted attack. Even Saini is not available to bowl for groin injury makes their task extremely difficult. The first task would be restricting Australia below 350 and applying themselves like SCG while batting.
TOO MUCH CRICKET AT HOT UAE DURING IPL MUST HAVE TAXED INDIAN PLAYERS. With so many injuries to key players specially new ball bowlers a team cannot compete against Australia in Australia. India is not doing bad in that sense.
BDST: 1230 HRS, JAN 16, 2021