About the Match
What a third day of the test match India has had! Everything went their way and as a result, they are now within touching distance of one of their hardest-fought home victories in a long time. Is there a final twist in the tale or is India’s victory a foregone conclusion?
Day 4 Preview
Tomorrow is the last day of the test series between India and Australia. With 87 runs to get, there is no way that the third session of play will be utilized. That India would be in such a strong position was difficult to imagine when play started on day 3 but Ravindra Jadeja and Wriddhiman Saha played excellent knocks to get India a slender 32 runs lead.
What followed afterward was an impressive bowling display by all the Indian bowlers to kill the Aussie challenge before it even began. For once, Steve Smith did not make any major runs and the other Aussie batsmen tumbled without much of a fight.
The Aussies also managed to bowl out 6 overs with the new ball without any luck as India ended the day at 19 for no loss.
So, 87 runs with all the wickets intact, should be a cakewalk right?
While we think that Australia is definitely 75-100 runs short of a competitive total, India would do well to guard against complacency. The Dharamsala pitch is playing some tricks and the cracks running down the surface have started to become more prominent than ever before.
Pat Cummins, Josh Hazelwood, and Nathan Lyon will get plenty of assistance from the surface and could take a few wickets before India reach the total. Also, India is playing a batsman short and a couple of early wickets could set the cat among the pigeons.
We think that backing Cummins to get 3 plus wickets on day4 could be a good option.
For India, the task is very simple. They need to avoid losing early wickets and the runs will come on their own. That may be easier said than done, however, as the Aussies will come out fired up and ready to give it one last go.
A batsman like Pujara could help ease the nerves in a small, yet potentially tricky chase and he will the scalp that Australia is most after. Back him to get the most runs for India on a truncated day.
It is difficult to imagine a scenario from which India can lose this game. They have never failed to chase a total of less than 120 and the lowest that Australia has successfully defended against India in India is 231. The pitch is playing some tricks but is offering consistent bounce and not a prodigious amount of spin.
The whole thing will be about the manner in which the Indian batsmen face the pressure of the chase. We are confident that India will be able to win this match but Australia may bloody them along the way.
Back India to win