Test Cricket: Predicting how will the Indian Cricket Team choose their starting XI for the 4th Test v Australia in Sydney

by Sports Benches

A few hours ago, India have finalized their 13-man squad ahead of the 4th Test tomorrow in Sydney.

Some do stay on, and some have to miss out.

Although, one player has taken leave for this week.

At last, there’s one off-spinner who initially deemed unfit.

But three hours later, he’s surprisingly named back in their final squad depending on how the Sydney pitch pans out.

It may favor plenty of turn which may help India fork out two spinners & three fast bowlers.

Batsmen

Mayank Agarwal will keep his spot as one of their main Openers.

From there, Agarwal will look to keep up his excellent performances from Melbourne last week.

Joining alongside Agarwal, it will be KL Rahul.

That returnee will need to respond what the selectors will expect this time after a poor showing in Adelaide & Perth.

So that means Murali Vijay won’t get his spot back and will sit out for the second time tomorrow.

Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli & Ajinkya Rahane will retain their spots at No.3, No.4 & No.5 positions respectively.

Hanuma Vihari returns at No.6 as he needs to score plenty of runs this time.

Vihari’s stint as an Opener has been short-lived through two poor scores:

  • 8 in the 1st Innings
  • 13 in the 3rd Innings

Regardless if the pitch does turn or not, Vihari can be their 2nd spinner behind Ravi Jadeja if they reinstate Umesh Yadav.

Rishabh Pant will continue to keep wicket & bat at No.7.

Image Caption: BCCI

Bowlers

Ravi Jadeja will lead the spinning attack at No.8 having taken two wickets in the 1st & three in the 3rd innings.

At No.9, this position does remain undecided depending on how India will dictate the Sydney pitch before tomorrow morning.

If it doesn’t spin and isn’t spin friendly, then Umesh Yadav will get his recall.

But if India found the Sydney pitch does turn a lot, then Kuldeep Yadav will get his opportunity as the second spinner.

Although, K. Yadav’s possible selection depends on Ravi Ashwin’s fitness.

Ashwin is one of India’s best spinners in this cartel who performed very well with six wickets in the 1st Test.

However, Ashwin had to sit out the next two tests with a side strain injury.

India will watch Ashwin closely before they decide whether he’s medically cleared to play or not tomorrow.

Mohammed Shami & Jasprit Bumrah will complete India’s planned 4th Test line-up at No.10 & No.11 respectively.

So that means Ishant Sharma has to miss out despite contributing last week with a few scalps on board.

Final Starting XI

  1. Mayank Agarwal
  2. KL Rahul
  3. Cheteshwar Pujara
  4. Virat Kohli, Captain
  5. Ajinkya Rahane, Vice-Captain
  6. Hanuma Vihari
  7. Rishabh Pant, Wicket-Keeper
  8. Ravi Jadeja
  9. Ravi Ashwin or Kuldeep Yadav or Umesh Yadav
  10. Mohammed Shami
  11. Jasprit Bumrah

Image Caption: BCCI

Conclusion

Great take from India to balance out the fast bowling and spinners workload depending on how the Sydney pitch pans out.

You still have the strong attacking prowess within the Top 7 as they should continue to play off a straight bat.

That way they can keep their technical game simple by whacking off loose balls & blocking 100s of times.

It’s the aggressive and attacking way to score runs quickly which proved evident last week.

The same goes from their bowlers.

Keep bowling straight pitching towards the middle and spice up the pace with some bounce by targeting the stumps.

It made the Australians play a loose shot off the good balls going into the air or hesitated to get hit in the pad by jumping & lunging.

Now they have got all of their strategies locked in place as India look to avoid defeat here in Sydney.

They lead the series 2-1 after they retained the Border-Gavaskar Trophy last week for the first time in Australia.

If India wins, they will take home the four-match series victory for the first time on their home turf.

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