In the backdrop of the picturesque Dharamsala India and Australia will battle it out one last time in the decider for the Border Gavaskar Trophy.
Australia are expected to go into the match with an unchanged squad. After securing a draw in the last test at Ranchi, captain Steve Smith has already stated that the momentum is with his players. But going by the initial reports, the pitch in Dharamsala will seemingly assist pacers by offering true bounce and carry. This may very well prompt the think-tank of the visitors to include Jackson Bird in the line-up. But if it does happen then it will be interesting to see who gets the chop.
The hosts my also be thinking of with a three-pronged pace attack. Going by the good form of Cheteshwar Pujara and Murali Vijay, Indian skipper Virat Kohli can afford the luxury of playing with six batsman and include another pacer. If so then this may result in a Test recall for Mohammed Shami who has been recalled into the side. Shami is one of the quickest pace bowlers in India and has the knack of troubling the batsmen with his reverse swing. His reverse swing at a brisk pace more often than not becomes lethal even for top order batsman.
However, one major cause of worry for Team India will be Virat Kohli’s fitness. His right shoulder, which he injured while diving to stop a boundary on the first day of the Ranchi Test, was heavily strapped. And the surest indication that he hasn’t recovered fully from the blow came on Thursday evening when the team management called up young Mumbai batsman Shreyas Iyer as his cover for the fourth and final Test match.
Meanwhile, the series against Australia will be the last of what has been a very successful home Test season for India. Whatever maybe the result, India will retain their number one ranking.
However, with all the controversies and both captains having a go at each other throughout the series, the last clash promises to be more than just a decider.