The 4th Test between India and Australia will be played at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad from March 9.
While Australia sealed their spot in the WTC final with the win in Indore, India are left in the unwanted position to necessarily win the 4th Test to book their place in the WTC final.
For this, the hosts could make one or more changes for the 4th Test after learning from their loss in the in the 3rd Test. In fact, there is a possibility that more than one change can be made for the Ahmedabad Test.
IND vs AUS: 3 Indian players who could be dropped from the 4th Test:
India have planned to rotate their pacers in these 4 Tests, hence Mohammed Shami was rested from the Indore Test, making way for Umesh Yadav, who missed the first two Tests.
Shami is likely to return to the playing XI in Ahmedabad, and will most certainly take the place of Mohammed Siraj, who played in all three Tests so far, with little impact: picking up just 1 wicket – that of Usman Khawaja in the Nagpur Test – in 24 overs he bowled across the 4 Tests.
KS Bharat has been good behind the stumps, but has failed to fill the shoes of Rishabh Pant with the bat. In 5 knocks in the 3 Tests so far, KS Bharat has scored only 57 runs at an average of only 14; his strike rate of 69 far away from the kind of impact that Rishabh Pant would create.
India have Ishan Kishan on the bench, who seems to be the like-for-like replacement of Pant – not just Kishan is a let-hander, which would be crucial in an Indian batting line-up with plenty of right-handers in the top 6, but Kishan also is known for his attacking batting like Pant.
In the Indore Test, during the partnerships between Khawaja and Labuschagne, then Green and Handscomb, and then Labuschagne and Head, it felt that the Aussie batters were getting comfortable, and more assured while playing the Indian spinners – Ashwin, Jadeja, and Axar – all three finger spinners.
Another spin-friendly pitch is expected in Ahmedabad. This could embolden India to try their spin X-factor, which is Kuldeep Yadav. Kuldeep hasn’t got to play Test matches consistently ever in his career: having made his Test debut in 2017 against Australia, the chinaman has only played in 8 Tests, picking up 34 wickets at a terrific average of 21 with 3 five-wicket hauls, one of that coming against Australia in Sydney.
So there is a chance that India might just go in with only one pacer and 4 spinner, Rohit keeping all types of variety up his sleeve, including Kuldeep.