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PREVIEW: Australia v India, Fourth test, Sydney Cricket Ground

The Border-Gavaskar trophy will be making its way back to Australia. However, even with the scoreline reading 0-2, there are a lot of talking points from India’s point of view.

A new captain.

A new number 7 batsman.

A new wicket keeper.

Ishant Sharma is the most capped Indian test player. This is the new team India.

It will be interesting to see how the new “aggressive” team India plays at the SCG. Virat Kohli’s “in-it-to-win-it” attitude in Adelaide was commendable but one has to wonder whether the series would have been different India had been able to draw the first test? Is the Shastri – Kohli combination willing to do anything to win? Will they accept a 3 – 0 scoreline in search of a win? With the history between these two teams, will Kohli cool off on the sledging front?

At the end of the day, this is the attitude that will set up 2015, a World Cup year.

Our team selection for the final test at the Syndey Cricket Ground:

1. M. Vijay

2. S. Dhawan

3. C. Pujara

4. V. Kohli (C)

5. A Rahane

6. S. Raina

7. W. Saha (WK)

8. R. Ashwin

9. U. Yadav

10. V. Aaron

11. I. Sharma

A couple of points on our team selection:

1. Saha replaces Dhoni as wicketkeeper. Let’s just hope he doesn’t come running down the track again!

2. KL Rahul had an extremely disappointing debut test match to say the least. His choice of shots was appalling. It may be harsh to drop him after a single game, but at the beginning of the series we had mentioned that as the month goes by, India will be looking to give Suresh Raina some match practice ahead of the World cup. Also, Raina’s offbreaks may come in handy on the SCG wicket, which is the most spin-friendly wicket in Australia. Further, confirmation that Mitchell Johnson is not playing points towards Raina getting the nod. Another option is to play KL Rahul as wicket keeper batsman (Rahul keeps at first class level) and play Raina instead of Dhoni. Seems unlikely but it may be a good way to keep everyone  (except Saha) happy.

3. On the bowling front, India still doesn’t look capable of taking 20 wickets. While both Shami and Aaron haven’t had great series, Shami’s tendency to drift on to the pads every over means that we want to drop him. If Bhuvi is fit, he plays instead of Shami with Umesh and Ishant. Every game Bhuvi sits out reminds India of his value with both bat and ball. Ashwin’s solid batting in Melbourne and the SCG being a spinner’s pitch means that he retains his spot.


Expect the Aussies to come hard. They want to win this for their mate, Phil Hughes, who played his last innings at this ground.

Under Kohli, we don’t see India taking a backward step.

Sparks will fly!

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