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Border-Gavaskar Trophy: What can we expect from Day 4 of the 3rd Test?

853   //    17 Mar 2013, 09:50 IST

India certainly have taken advantage of the Aussies poor form by showing pure class in the form of Shikhar Dhawan, who hit the fastest century on debut and Murali Vijay, who was an able, rock solid partner in crime. And like the day two and three, we can expect a lot of runs and agony for the (Aussie) bowlers.

Will Dhoni declare and go for the win, if India post a huge total?

Will Dhoni declare and go for the win, if India post a huge total?

On day 3, we witnessed the unfortunate dismissal of Mitchell Starc for 99 and pure entertainment in the form of Dhawan’s and Vijay’s opening stand. And I expect more of the same:

1. A huge Indian total: 

India went into Day 4 without the loss of a wicket but that soon changed as the Aussies picked up two quick wickets. Dhawan and Pujara walked back to the pavilion in quick succession. But Vijay will be fresh and raring to go and torture the bowlers again. India also have form batsmen in Virat Kohli, Sachin Tendulkar and of course, captain cool, Mahendra Singh Dhoni. So, a huge target would be the priority.

2.  Will Australia bat on Day 4?

It would take a miracle for the Aussies to reduce India to a score of about 500. But if bowlers like Starc and Siddle can avoid bowling around the off stump, bowl stump to stump and gain extra bounce, like they did in their backyard, they surely can trouble the Indians and stop the current onslaught. Spinners like Doherty, Lyon and Smith would surely try to extract some spin from the wicket like Jadeja did. Australia may have to come out maybe in the last session either way, if the Indians amass a huge total and declare.

3. The possibility of a collapse:

In the Boxing Day Test in December 2011, on a bouncy track, India where 214-2 after good work from Dravid, Sehwag and Tendulkar and once they fell, India collapsed like a pack of cards, trying to play for the crowd, rather than the country and eventually lost the Test by 122 runs. There have been many situations like this before, and with the Aussies having already picked up two quick wickets, they would think it’s a possibility.

On another tangent all-together the hype of Pujara and Dhawan as successors is unwarranted:

India have to fill the void left behind by the departure of Dravid and Sehwag; players who have been the backbone of the batting lineup for the past decade. Their so called replacements in Pujara and Dhawan are over-hyped. They are good players indeed, but inexperienced. Agreed they have proved their worth in this home series, but they haven’t traveled abroad. Their real test would be  when they come up against the number one Test side in South Africa and the likes of Dale Steyn and Morne Morkel. If they succeed there, we can finally accept that they are worthy replacements.

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