After a heroic comeback from 36 for 10, Team India is mired up in a sturdy challenge on the fourth and the deciding final test match against Australia in Brisbane. With timely grit and the laudable performances from the tailenders, India managed to clinch a draw in their third Test, levelling the series 1-1. It is a verity that the absence of ace bowlers like Mohammed Shami, Ishant Sharma has made India`s job in Brisbane very difficult, however, I would not say that everything has become impossible for Team India. India has exhibited miraculous performances on many occasions, and if India wins or saves the deciding cliffhanger in Brisbane, it would be one of the most memorable events in Indian cricket history because stopping Australia in their conditions with a second rank attack would be a huge achievement indeed.
Today in the Indian team, Bumrah is the number one bowler who was also the number one bowler in the ICC Test rankings sometime back. Mohammed Shami, Ishant Sharma come after him. Even Umesh Yadav is also not available. It is a miracle of Team India`s bench strength that even without many veteran fast bowlers, the team has saved the match at Sydney in Australian conditions.
The team has bowlers like Shardul Thakur, T Natarajan, and Kartik Tyagi. Hence, it is the golden opportunity for these bowlers to capitalize on this opportunity.
I think both Shardul and Natarajan can be included in the Brisbane Test. They have the advantage of being with the team in the other format. Team India has benefitted from the presence of these players in different formats. If the team management gives chance to both Shardul and T Natarajan, it will weaken the batting a big and in that case, we will have no choice but to go all out. We cannot go for a draw under any circumstances. At the same time, the Australian team will give the green top wicket for this match. They are confident of all three of their experienced fast bowlers. These three can wreak havoc on Gabba`s wicket. The only thing I am afraid of is that the inexperience of four new fast bowlers may expose in one spell. Such spells often prove to be very expensive. Apart from this, Team India can also play Wriddhiman Saha as wicketkeeper and Rishabh Pant as a batsman. This option is also not bad as Pant batted brilliantly in the second inning in the Sydney test to raise hopes of victory for India which put the Australian team on the backfoot at one stage. Saha also bats well. Expect the dazzling performance of Team India in Brisbane.
Writer is a former fast bowler of Indian cricket team. He is also a cricket analyst
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HOSTS WEREN’T AGGRESSIVE ENOUGH, SAYS PONTING
BRISBANE: Former Australia captain Ricky Ponting admitted he is a “bit disappointed” with how the hosts performed on day three of the fourth Test against India, saying that they allowed visitors’ batsmen to be “way too comfortable at the crease”. He said, “I was a bit disappointed with the way the Australians went about it, to be honest. I don’t think they were aggressive enough, didn’t bowl enough short balls. They let the Indian batsmen be way too comfortable at the crease… They almost bowled the way those batsmen would have wanted them to bowl. It wasn’t until we saw a bit of a barrage from Starc and even when Shardul got out (bowled by Pat Cummins), it was no surprise it was a ball after a bouncer. I don’t think the Aussies were anywhere near aggressive enough.”
AUSSIE SKIPPER TIM PAINE GETS TROLLED BADLY FOR DRS GAFFES
BRISBANE: Australia made a few bizarre review calls on the third day of the fourth Test against India which has led to captain Tim Paine coping with some criticism on social media. Paine had decided to review decisions for catches off Mayank Agarwal and later Navdeep Saini, both of which turned out to have missed the bat by a fair distance. In the 49th over, Agarwal missed a flick shot off Pat Cummins and the ball hit his thigh pads before flying into Paine’s gloves. Both the bowler and wicketkeeper appealed and after the umpire shook his head, Paine went for the DRS. The next incident came in the 103rd over which was also bowled by Cummins.
TEAM INDIA’S COURAGE CAN BE DESCRIBED AS ‘DABANNG’: SEHWAG
BRISBANE: Former India opener Virender Sehwag on Sunday lauded the courage shown by the Ajinkya Rahane-led side in the fourth and final Test against Australia. “Gabba the Dhaba for these two guys. If there is one word to describe the courage of this Indian team, it’s Dabanng. So daring and brave,” Sehwag said in an Instagram post. Former India batsman V.V.S. Laxman also praised the brave effort of the two young batsman and tweeted: “Congrats Washington Sundar and Shardul Thakur on your maiden Test ‘50s. Loved the fight, technique and will power you both exhibited.” The partnership between Sundar and Thakur was the highest seventh-wicket partnership for India at The Gabba. Kapil Dev and Manoj Prabhakar had earlier held the record when they stitched together a 58-run stand for the seventh wicket in 1991.
OUR PLAN WAS TO HANG IN THERE TO TIRE AUSTRALIA BOWLERS: THAKUR
BRISBANE: India’s Shardul Thakur and Washington Sundar on Sunday kept calm and ignored the on-field chatter to frustrate a tiring Australian bowling line-up to add 123 for the seventh wicket and reduce the first-innings deficit in the fourth and final Test at the Gabba. “They were trying to have a conversation with me but I wasn’t answering them. Once or twice I answered them in one word but they were sort of normal questions. Even if they tried to sledge me, I just ignored it and kept on playing,” said Thakur after making 67 in the first-innings. “We weren’t looking at the scoreboard. The idea was to spend some time there. We knew that their bowlers were tiring and we thought it was a matter of one hour. So if we hung in there for one more hour then probably we would be on top,” he added.
SURE, I WILL GET A BIG SCORE: SUNDAR TO DAD BEFORE GABBA INNINGS
NEW DELHI: While fans are going gaga over Washington Sundar making a half-century on Sunday, his father is upset for not getting a Test century. Sundar scored 62 off 144 balls and shared a 123-run seventh wicket partnership with Shardul Thakur. “I am disappointed he did not get a 100. When Siraj came, he should have hit fours and sixes. He is capable of that. He should have gone for sixes. He could have gone for pulls and big hits. Perhaps, he thought of trying to come close to Australia’s total as the lead was very less,” father M. Sundar told IANS from Chennai. “I speak to him in Australia every day. I told him last evening whenever you get a chance, get a big score. He said, ‘sure I will’.”
Thailand Open: Marin, Axelsen win singles titles
Spanish Olympic champion Carolina Marin and Denmark’s Viktor Axelsen won the women’s and men’s singles titles, respectively, at the Thailand Open Super 1000 badminton tournament in Bangkok on Sunday.
Marin, 27, beat Chinese Taipei’s top seed Tai Tzu Ying in straight games in an ominous display of form as she prepares to defend her Olympic title later in the year in Tokyo. Tai was limited to a single digit score in the first game and while she fought hard in the second, Marin ended up winning the match 21-9, 21-16.
Axelsen, meanwhile, recorded his second consecutive tournament win with a 21-14, 21-14 win over Hong Kong’s Angus Ng Ka Long. Axelsen had earlier won the All England Open Championship in March.
Indonesia’s Greysia Polii and Apriyani Rahayu beat Thailand’s Jongkolphan Kititharakul and Rawinda Prajongjai 21-15, 21-12 to win the women’s doubles final.
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