Australia vs India 2018-19, Fourth Test: Preview, predicted XI, telecast details
India retained the Border-Gavaskar Trophy with a 137 run win in Melbourne, leading the four-match series 2-1. However, going by the Indian skipper's words, they will be out there in Sydney to win and not just a draw. Both the teams will be looking forward to starting the year on a winning note when they will meet for the final test of the series at Sydney Cricket Ground on 3rd January.
Kohli & Co. are on the verge of creating history by winning first ever Test series Down Under and will try to dominate the game to keep the Aussies on the back foot from the very beginning.
After a flying start in Adelaide, India was outplayed in the second test in Perth. People started questioning if this season would be no different and India would again lose the series just like in South Africa and England. But Indian team fought back in the Boxing Day test and won the match in some style.
Mayank Agarwal looked solid in his debut match and looks set to cement his place in the squad. He may be accompanied by KL Rahul at the top in the upcoming test due to Rohit Sharma's unavailability for the last test.
Pujara's form has consolidated India's batting as he is the leading run scorer in this series with 328 runs at an average of 54.67 which includes two centuries and one half-century in the three tests so far. On the other hand, Bumrah has been the best bowler for India in this series so far and has claimed 20-wickets to his credit.
Australia's batting has failed miserably in this series, including Aaron Finch who has really struggled with the red-ball cricket. The middle order has been quite fragile apart from Travis Head who is the leading run scorer for Australia in this series with 217 runs.
However, their bowling attack has battled hard throughout the series and Australia will be looking to match the performance with the bat. The hosts will look forward to bouncing back from the previous defeat and look to start 2019 on a positive note.
Date: Thursday, 3rd January 2019.
Time: 05:00 AM (IST)
Venue: Sydney Cricket Ground, Sydney
League: Fourth Test, India tour of Australia, 2018-19
Live Telecast: Sony Network
Online Streaming: Sonyliv.com
“We made some strides forward in Perth, but this was disappointing. We’re playing against some of the best bowlers, and we need to find positives before Sydney. The conditions in Sydney will be different, so we’ll decide on the best formula.”
“We are not going to stop here. This has given us more confidence to play more positive cricket in Sydney. We’ve done well in all three departments, which is why we’ve retained the trophy. Nothing can distract us from trying to win that final Test, because we’ve never been in a position to win a series.”
Marcus Harris may open the innings with Usman Khwaja.
Marnus Labuschagne can replace Aaron Finch or Mitch Marsh. He is a middle-order batsman who also bowls some useful leg spin.
Peter Handscomb can also play in this final test match after his stellar performance in the BBL. Australia desperately needs to strengthen their batting.
Ishant Sharma is dropped from the final test and Umesh Yadav is set to replace him.
Ashwin is a part of India’s 13-man squad for the final Test.
Rohit Sharma will not be available for this match as he will visit India, to see his newborn daughter.
Kuldeep Yadav can be a good option if the pitch offers some assistance to the spinners.
AUS vs IND Squads
Australia squad for 4th Test: Tim Paine (C, wk), Josh Hazlewood, Mitch Marsh, Pat Cummins, Aaron Finch, Peter Handscomb, Marcus Harris, Travis Head, Usman Khawaja, Marnus Labuschagne, Nathan Lyon, Shaun Marsh, Peter Siddle, Mitchell Starc
India Test squad for 4th Test: Virat Kohli (C), A Rahane (VC), KL Rahul, Mayank Agarwal, C Pujara, H Vihari, R Pant, R Jadeja, K Yadav, R Ashwin, M Shami, Jasprit Bumrah, Umesh Yadav
Probable Playing XI:
Marcus Harris, Usman Khawaja, Shaun Marsh, Aaron Finch/Peter Handscomb, Travis Head, Marnus Labuschagne, Tim Paine (c, wk), Pat Cummins, Mitchell Starc, Nathan Lyon, Josh Hazlewood
Mayank Agarwal, K L Rahul, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli (c), Ajinkya Rahane, Hanuma Vihari, Rishabh Pant (wk), R Ashwin/Umesh Yadav, R Jadeja/K Yadav, Mohammed Shami, Jasprit Bumrah
Players to watch out for: