India will want to get their New Year started on the right note and that would mean a win at the SCG. India have already retained the Border-Gavaskar Series since Australia would have had to win the series in order to take the trophy. However, India will want to wrap up the 4 match series on a 3-1 note.
Picking The Right Team Critical
India have had to deal with the bitter truth that Shastri and Kohli’s strange team selection for the second test cost them the match. They received a lot of criticism from ex-players including Sunil Gavaskar and as a result, they came up with a good team for the third test and it paid great dividends.
Will Shastri-Kohli make the right selections for the fourth and final test at the SCG which starts on Jan 3rd or will they once again experiment with strange selections. They have a few key decisions that they need to make.
Who Opens With M Agarwal
M Agarwal will most likely have a new opening partner for the fourth test as H Vihari showed that while he can occupy the crease, he is not very comfortable playing the short ball. India could have experimented with bringing R Sharma up the order but Sharma has flown back to India to be with his wife who gave birth to their first child.
India can move C Pujara up the order but that may not be the best move given that Pujara has been a rock at number 3 and scored two centuries. The other option would be to bring back one of the regular openers in KL Rahul or M Vijay. Bringing back KL Rahul would be a huge mistake as he has wasted too many chances.
Play Three Quicks Or Two Spinners
The SCG has traditionally been a pitch more suited for spinners than seamers and it might tempt India to go in with both R Jadeja and R Ashwin or R Jadeja and K Yadav if Ashwin is still not fit.
Shastri and Kohli also need to decide if they play the three quicks who have been phenomenal this series or rest one of them and include H Pandya who can take R Sharma’s place.
The best eleven would be to have Vihari open and bring in R Ashwin for R Sharma, playing two spinners and three quicks.