About the Match
India finds itself in an incredibly strong position as the Test Match goes into the fourth day and will be hoping to secure their victory as soon as possible. Australia, though still has 8 wickets in hand with which to keep India at bay.
Day 5 Preview
Cheteshwar Pujara was responsible in playing the innings of the second test match which allowed India to stage a comeback victory and he could have well done the same thing this time around with a double century. He was helped by Wriddhiman Saha, who completed a fantastic century of his own and some late order runs by Ravindra Jadeja.
Australia also lost the wickets of David Warner and Nathan Lyon before the close of play to be struggling at 23 for 2 and still trailing by 129 runs.
Surviving the fifth day is not going to be easy for the Australians. The 7.2 overs bowled by India showed that Ravindra Jadeja is going be the biggest threat to the batsmen. He has the advantage of bowling into the rough outside the off-stump for the left-handers, of which Australia has 4 in the top-7.
The ball that got David Warner spat from a length and spun viciously after landing in the rough. Lyon was also bowled to a ball that spun sharply and Renshaw survived a couple of close calls already.
There is no doubt in our mind that Ravindra Jadeja is the man to back to get the most wickets in this innings. His spin bowling partner is not to be taken too lightly as Ravi Ashwin will find the increased purchase on offer very helpful as well.
Ashwin may have to play a different role than he usually does but we think he is going to end up with a couple of wickets as well.
Kohli has not given the pacemen a bowl up until now but expect them to be used regularly as well. Umesh Yadav will find some reverse swing and that could be a vital weapon for India as they look to break partnerships.
So, is all lost for Australia? Most certainly not.
Australia must remember that this is the same pitch on which it took 4 days for the first innings of both teams to be completed. There are still plenty of runs in this pitch. The Aussie batsmen must also look to score runs against the spinners since they will only put themselves under increased pressure by defending continuously.
In Matt Renshaw, at the crease right now, and Steve Smith slated to come in next, Australia will have its two best batsmen at the crease. They are the two batsmen that have looked most comfortable against spin and the two that could hold off the bowlers for a prolonged period of time.
Peter Handscomb has struggled with his predominantly backfoot play too much to be considered as a serious threat by the Indians.
If Australia loses Renshaw or Smith or both early then India could be looking at an innings victory. If, however, the two of them are able to stitch together a partnership and be able to eat into this lead then Australia gives itself a very good shot at securing the draw.
We believe that India will find it difficult to score a 100 runs in a session to win and so Australia just needs to score another 200 runs to be safe. That is easier said than done of course on a wearing pitch but once again highlights the importance of continuing to score.
Glenn Maxwell coming off a mature test century may well be required to return to his maverick self and take the game to the Indian spinners.
The only way that Australia comes out of this is through attack. If they look to survive and wait it out then we think they are doomed for defeat. Their only hope, in that case, would be that the old ball loses all the fizz and eases batting considerably, something we do not think will happen.
India has been in this situation before and found a way to win. Back them to do so again. India To Win