In the event that the hosts defeat Australia, who has already secured a spot in the World Test Championship final, India, who now leads the series 2-1, would have all to play for. In addition, even if they are unable to win back the Border-Gavaskar trophy, the visitors would prefer to wrap out the series evenly.
Due to a family ailment, Australia’s skipper Pat Cummins has stayed at home, giving Smith—who clearly cherishes the opportunity—another chance to test his skills against India in the subcontinent.”It’s a game of chess, every ball means something,” said Smith after the Indore victory, which followed India’s wins in Nagpur and Delhi.
“It’s good to just move people and try to make the batter do something different and just play games with them,” Smith said after the Indore triumph.
“It’s probably my favourite place in the world to captain.”
The prime leaders of Australia and India are set to be present on Thursday at the Narendra Modi Stadium, the largest cricket stadium in the world with a 132,000-seat capacity.
Two years ago, Joe Root’s England suffered two crushing defeats there, including one that was played in the shortest Test match since 1935—two days—during a day-and-night match.
Both teams are set to select three spinners once more, despite the Gujarat Cricket Association’s assurances of a “regular pitch.” India, though, may decide to go with Kuldeep Yadav’s wristspin rather than Axar Patel, who has only taken one wicket in the series.
By putting in the powerful Suryakumar Yadav and dropping a seam bowler, India may potentially improve their batting.
Only their second Test victory on Indian soil since 2004, Australia’s spinners Nathan Lyon and Matthew Kuhnemann made the most of an Indore pitch that was officially designated as “poor” by the match referee.
After deciding to play, Kuhnemann got five wickets and Lyon three as India was bowled out for 109 in their opening innings.
Despite a late collapse from 186-4 to 197 all out, Usman Khawaja’s 60 in a 96-run stand with Marnus Lasuschagne helped Australia to an 88-run lead.
As India scored 163 in their second innings, Lyon blasted through with 8-64, and Travis Head and Marnus Labuschagne easily chased down the 76-run mark.
Rohit Sharma, the captain of India, stated that he was tired of people always focusing on the playing grounds and instead to pay attention to some outstanding bowling efforts.
“This pitch talk is getting too much,” he said after the Indore Test. “Every time we play in India it’s always about the pitch.
“Out of the 10 wickets maybe one or two where the pitch did help the bowler, but other than that it was the skill of the bowler that foxed the batsman”.
(With agency inputs)
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