India vs Australia 3rd Test: Preview and Prediction
The Indian cricket team will be clashing against Australia for the third time in the four-match series from Wednesday at the Holkar Cricket Stadium in Indore. The hosts will be without any pressure as they have already retained the Border Gavaskar Trophy by winning the first and second Test matches by an innings and 132 runs and six wickets, respectively.
Spinners have been a real asset for the Indian side. The likes of Ravindra Jadeja, Ravi Ashwin, and Axar Patel have been contributing both with the bat and ball. While the bowlers have been ruling the 22-yard pitch, the Indian batters, especially the top order, are yet to unleash their full potential in the four-match series.
Having said that, India does not have any injury concerns. The team is likely to field the same playing XI and spill the magic again on the field.
However, the same is not the case with the Australian cricket team. They are struggling in all facets of the game, be it batting, bowling, or fielding. Adding to their misery, the team has been hit with injury concerns. Both David Warner and Josh Hazlewood have been ruled out of the series.
The skipper Pat Cummins will also be giving the third Test a miss due to personal reasons. In the absence of Cummins, Steve Smith will be leading the side while Mitchell Starc will be replacing him in the playing XI. Travis Head can fill Warner’s place at the top while Cameron Green might be included to strengthen the middle order.
What has happened so far?
Australia has not experienced any positives in the four-match Test series against India, so far as they are trailing by 0-2. The first Test saw India smashing the visiting bowlers all over the park as they scored 400 runs in their only batting innings.
On the other hand, Pat Cummins & Men collapsed at scores of 171 and 91, respectively, to lose the game by an inning and 132 runs. Rohit Sharma was the pick of the batter with a century to his name, while Ravindra Jadeja caused carnage with his bowling exploits.
Speaking of the second Test, Indian bowlers again ruled the first innings as they restricted the visitors to a score of 263 runs. Chasing the score, India was no better, as they also collapsed at 262 runs.
However, it is the third innings that India gained momentum by stopping Australia at 113 runs. Jadeja was the standout performer with a whopping seven wickets to his name while Ravi Ashwin picked three wickets.
Chasing 115 runs in the final innings, India faced hiccups as they lost their four wickets early. However, Cheteshwar Pujara and Srikar Bharat delivered decent performances with the bat to take India home by six wickets. Jadeja was adjudged the man of the match for his all-round effort.
Head to Head Record
As per the history of Test cricket, the Australian cricket team enjoys domination over the Indian side. The two teams have faced each a total of 104 times and the Kangaroos have scored a win in 43 games. However, India is lagging behind with only 32 wins to their name.
The remaining 29 fixtures between the two sides did not fetch a proper result. 28 games resulted in a draw while one fixture between India and Australia was tied.
Ravindra Jadeja (India): Ravindra Jadeja has been the real star for India in the Test series against Australia as he has made a winning contribution both with the bat and ball. The veteran has been exploiting the playing conditions perfectly and is the top wicket-taker in the series so far with 17 wickets in two matches at an average of 11.24 and an economy rate of 2.84.
Jadeja is doing well with the bat as well as he has scored runs at an average of 48.00 against the Kangaroos. Thus, the spin all-rounder will be the most important player for India in the game starting from Tuesday as they will hope for another scintillating victory.
Marnus Labuschagne (Australia): Australian batters have not delivered a brilliant performance in the Test series, but Marnus Labuschagne has emerged as one of the positives for the team.
The 28-year-old is currently the top run-getter for the visitors with 119 runs to his name in four innings at an average of 29.75. It is absolutely important for Marnus to pick up the rhythm in the third Test match to avoid the third consecutive defeat for his team against India.
Predicted Playing XI
India: Rohit Sharma ©, KL Rahul, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli, Shreyas Iyer, Ravindra Jadeja, Srikar Bharat, Axar Patel, Ravichandran Ashwin, Mohammed Shami, Mohammed Siraj
Australia: Travis Head, Usman Khawaja, Marnus Labuschagne, Steven Smith ©, Peter Handscomb, Cameron Green, Alex Carey, Mitchell Starc, Todd Murphy, Nathan Lyon, Matthew Kuhnemann
The Men in Blue are the top contenders for continuing the momentum and scoring another win. Moreover, Australia is battling through injury scars and a handful of their players will be giving the remaining Test series a miss. The new players can take some time to get settled on the Indian pitches.