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 team India to go into the fourth Test with a three-pronged pace attack. Going by the form of his batsman, 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, Shami has not played for his country since the third Test against England in Mohali four months ago where he suffered a recurrence of a knee injury. He did return to action and bagged four wickets in last Monday’s Vijay Hazare domestic one-day competition final for Bengal.
Earlier skipper Virat Kohli had said that Shami was sent to the Vijay Hazare for match practice and Shami proved his mettle there. The surface in Dharamsala has favoured fast bowlers throughout the Ranji Trophy and should not be drastically different. Hence, Karun Nair can be dropped to fit in Shami. Nair has had an ordinary series with the bat and therby may have sit out. If the series remains level at 1-1, then Australia will head back home with the trophy. Hence, what India needs is a win for which they need to take the risk
India (for fourth Test): Virat Kohli (c), Murali Vijay, KL Rahul, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane, Wriddhiman Saha, Ravichandaran Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Ishant Sharma, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Umesh Yadav, Karun Nair, Jayant Yadav, Kuldeep Yadav, Abhinav Mukund, Mohammed Shami.