The Indian think-tank has a lot of work to do before the fourth Test match of the Border-Gavaskar Trophy 2014-15. Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s sudden departure from Test cricket has left a big hole in the Indian cricket team and it has left the Indian team management worrying over the ideal playing combination for the last test of the series.
1) The Sydney Cricket Ground has proved to be helpful for the spinners
The fourth Test is in Sydney and the Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG) has proved to be helpful for the spinners. Spinners become very crucial on the third and fourth day when the track starts to open up and there is a lot of help for the spinners.
This might tempt the team management to go with two specialist spinner in the fourth Test. This means, Axar Patel, who was flown in as a replacement for Ravindra Jadeja after Jadeja was ruled out of the series due to a shoulder-injury, might get make his Test debut. This would mean that either Umesh Yadav or Mohammad Shami will have to sit out to accommodate Axar Patel. India would want to stick their four-bowlers strategy and they would look to field two specialist spinners on the Sydney track.
2) Shikhar Dhawan’s prolonged bad patch might lead to KL Rahul’s promotion in the batting order
Shikhar Dhawan’s prolonged bad-patch has led to a lot of debates regarding his place in the Test team. KL Rahul, who made his debut in the third Test, might to pushed to up to his preferred batting spot i.e. opening. Rahul made a forgettable start to his Test career by scoring only 4 runs in his debut match, but he is one of the brightest stars in the domestic circuit and the selectors will persist with him for a fair amount of time.
3) The choice will be between Rohit and Raina and Raina might get the nod
Dhawan’s exit and Rahul’s promotion to the top of the order, might give Suresh Raina his first opportunity in the series. Raina, who made a brilliant start to his Test career by scoring a hundred on debut against Sri Lanka, lost his place in the team due to longish bad patch and some major technical issues. But, the selectors showed a lot of faith in him by picking for the difficult for the tour Australia. Suresh Raina has had big issues with short-pitched bowling and facing Mitchell Johnson and Ryan Harris in their backyard will be an uphill task for him in his comeback, if he gets a nod for the fourth Test. But, with Rohit Sharma struggling to score runs in the middle-order and KL Rahul’s possible promotion to the opening slot, Suresh Raina might get his first opportunity of the series in the middle order. Suresh Raina will also offer a decent spinning option on the turning Sydney track on day 3, 4 and 5.