India v Australia, 4th Test, Delhi

India chase historic whitewash

The Preview by Siddarth Ravindran

March 21, 2013

Comments: 76 | Text size: A | A

Match facts

March 22-26, Delhi
Start time 0930 (0400 GMT)

Shane Watson at the Sydney airport before his departure to India
Shane Watson will have a huge task on his hands © Associated Press
Related Links
Series/Tournaments: Australia tour of India
Teams: Australia | India

Big Picture

"This is a young Australian team. They are even getting beaten on their home grounds consistently. We should defeat them easily and a 4-0 whitewash is a real possibility." When Harbhajan Singh said those words at the start of the tour, most people laughed it off as a gratuitous jibe based on wishful thinking. A day ahead of the final Test, though, a whitewash looms as an all-too real possibility.

The series victory comes as a salve for India, smarting after the home defeats to England. What will be particularly pleasing for Indian fans is that the win has been built on the back of a new generation, shorn of most of the stalwarts of the past decade. Of the middle-order heavyweights only Sachin Tendulkar remains; India's most successful opening is on the sidelines, long-time pace spearhead Zaheer Khan hasn't played in months and Harbhajan remains a bit-part player even after his career was handed a lifeline at the start of the series.

Most of India's heroes have been players in the early stages of their Test career - M Vijay, Shikhar Dhawan, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli, R Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja. Whether they can thrive in unfamiliar overseas conditions is a debate for later; for now they are spearheading India's charge towards a fourth victory in the series - an unprecedented feat for the team.

From being pilloried for their defeats in Test cricket, India now have an outside chance of finishing the series as joint No. 2 in the rankings. Australia, on the other hand, had the No. 1 within their grasp a few months ago but, after a dreadful tour highlighted by indiscipline, injuries and technical ineptness, could slip down to fourth. Shane Watson and the rest of the "gang of four" are back after sitting out the Mohali Test but Mitchell Starc has become the latest to pull out of the tour due to an injury, and Australia's captain Michael Clarke is still nursing a bad back which could keep him out of Delhi. If Australia manage to avoid the whitewash from here, it will be a huge achievement.

Form guide

India WWWDL (Last five matches, most recent first)
Australia LLLWW

Watch out for...

One Test after being axed for indiscipline, calling the punishment "very harsh" and that he would weigh up his future, Shane Watson could return not just to the team, but as Australia's captain. There are question marks over his relationship with Clarke, and there are still plenty of people sceptical about his Test performances. Having given up bowling in this series, he hasn't yet delivered a substantial score in his four innings. It extends a fallow spell that has yielded just one half-century in 12 Test innings. Ahead of an Ashes-heavy season, Watson needs a big performance in Delhi.

Ravindra Jadeja has his share of doubters, and few thought he could deliver at the Test level, but he has been convincing as a second spinner so far in this series. Not only has he kept things tight, he has dismissed Australia's best batsman five times, and his 17 wickets in the series are more than the combined haul of Australia's spinners. He hasn't yet made a significant score with the bat, though there were a couple of cracking boundaries to ease India home in Mohali.

Teams news

India had sent Shikhar Dhawan for the pre-match press conference in Mohali ahead of his debut, but it wasn't Ajinkya Rahane who faced the press ahead of this game. That doesn't necessarily rule out a long-awaited debut for Rahane, but it indicates that the team management have not yet made up their minds about blooding him.

India (probable) 1 Ajinkya Rahane, 2 M Vijay, 3 Cheteshwar Pujara, 4 Sachin Tendulkar, 5 Virat Kohli, 6 MS Dhoni (capt & wk), 7 Ravindra Jadeja, 8 R Ashwin, 9 Pragyan Ojha, 10 Bhuvneshwar Kumar and 11 Ishant Sharma.

With Clarke not training on Thursday, it is unlikely he will play the Test, leaving Watson in charge. Phillip Hughes has probably done just enough in the Mohali second innings to save his place, while Xavier Doherty's underwhelming performances should see him on the bench. Moises Henriques will also be a nervous man ahead of the game, after having failed to build on his bright debut.

Australia: (probable) 1 David Warner, 2 Ed Cowan, 3 Phillip Hughes, 4 Shane Watson (capt), 5 Steven Smith, 6 Matthew Wade (wk), 7 Glenn Maxwell, 8 Mitchell Johnson, 9 James Pattinson, 10 Peter Siddle, 11 Nathan Lyon.

Pitch and conditions

Delhi is one of India's favourite venues, having won eight out of nine Tests there since losing to Viv Richards' champion side in 1987. Given the vast gulf in quality between the spinners in the two sides, it will surprise no one if the Kotla track turns out to be a turner. It is nowhere near the peak of summer, but Delhi will still be warm, with temperatures in the mid-30s.

Stats and trivia

  • The last time Australia lost four Tests in a series was during the Ashes in 1978-79, and their only 0-4 whitewash was against South Africa in 1969-70
  • Fast bowlers have had a difficult time in recent years at the Feroz Shah Kotla, averaging 43.57 since 2000


"Till the time the ball gets old, I have to play the defensive role of trying to contain the batsmen. Everyone has been assigned a specific role and we perform our roles accordingly."
Ishant Sharma

"Of the eight times their batsmen have passed 50, they've passed 100 six times and 200 twice. We've had eight instances where we've passed 50, but we only have one century to show for it."
Michael Clarke

Siddarth Ravindran is a senior sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

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© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by g.narsimha on (March 22, 2013, 5:06 GMT)

-It became fashionable to few prominent comentators pretend as IND fans but say all demeaning, degrading things on our team , our greats like SAHWAAG,SACHIN & others who contributed to INDIAN cricket taking it to no=i in tests making IND cricketing power house , every IND supporter wants to leave behind the horible white washes & look forward but few are still taking pleasure out of it , i wonder they are not deferent from our friends across the border .really surprised to see some claiming that even if IND white washes AUS there is huge deference wow u cant digest u r own teams seccess strange .

Posted by aby_prasad on (March 22, 2013, 4:02 GMT)

Last time I checked, ashes series wasn't the final of the world test series. Every other series is like a step to culminate in the ashes for both eng and aus. I wouldn't be qualified to say whether thats bad/good for them but for other teams it sounds funny and a bit arrogant to put it mildly. No dont play the indo pak card, we dont consider it as much as how the ashes are considered by aus n eng, at least not anymore. That being said, I have a feeling contrary to many that Australia would win the ashes. There is nothing like a wounded tiger (as England have shown, India have shown now etc) and the aussies are bound to come back roaring! and vent all their anger into their batting and bowling. England be prepared! As for the technicalities of it, like this batsman or that bowlers form, we all know that one match can turn it around and then we sing praises of them again!

Posted by GRVJPR on (March 22, 2013, 4:00 GMT)

Ojha misses out in Hydrabad, Harbhajan misses out in Mohali, Dhawan,Gambhir & sehwag misses out in Delhi. If match at Mumbai Sachin?

Posted by   on (March 22, 2013, 3:57 GMT)

Still no Khawaja - this is absolutely ridiculous!! - that is all

Posted by GRVJPR on (March 22, 2013, 3:48 GMT)

Why MS Dhoni keep loosing the toss and keep winning matches??

Posted by   on (March 22, 2013, 3:23 GMT)

I think India is thinking too much at the moment. Australia even though their morale is down, is a very good team. If Mitchell Johnson and Pattinson in addition to Watson comes on board, they will be very good team. If warner, watson and haddin come good in their batting in the first innings, they could create a chaos for Indians. I am expecting an exciting match in Delhi.

Posted by adshroff on (March 22, 2013, 3:19 GMT)

I remember We lost 0-4 in Australia . Now is Australia turn for 0-4 in India. keep this Indian Team For SA tour.Next 5 Days are Our days. Good luck !!!

Posted by Dhanno on (March 22, 2013, 3:14 GMT)

I was not discussing who dominated the series. But what was the response of the losing side. I saw 3rd test, I did not see Aus response to be defeated before ball is bowled. Infact they scored 400+ in 1st innings, made IND stretch to win the game on day 5. rewind to 3rd test in Aus: india couldnt post 200 in a innings and body language, go through cricinfo articles to get in-depth review. India scored once about 300 in whole tour, that too in a innings defeat on an almost subcontinental pitch in Sydney.

I know everything about how india got the #1 title. But I am not blind to the fact that indian players/ fans/ administrators gave all sorts of excuses during that 8-0 and then the 11-1 defeat. So kindly look at the facts, as I said 4-0 might happen here, and i agree australian team is limited in talent (sad given that ashes is coming) but india was in a way arrogant and dismissive in defeat which made some of the better informed fans to turn against them I guess.

Posted by GRVJPR on (March 22, 2013, 3:00 GMT)

The way England in Struggling number 7 kiwis shows how extra poor pitches in india allowed english spinners to win a lottery. It was really a surprise cosidering the way South Africa thrashed poms at their own backyard.

Posted by Dhanno on (March 22, 2013, 2:48 GMT)

@Shan/sanj,prodigy. Thanks for making that point, was the gist of what i wanted to say.

@ Screamingeagle. I would say indian personnel were not inept on paper, but actually acted worse than that.

@maddy. Australia gave their best (which i would agree is about "below avg" on international Scale). But they made sure india sweated to get over the line in 3rd test. compare this to 3rd test in Eng/ Aus. India was demoralized and chasing leather/folding like paper-ville while batting. We were going through motions and nothing else.

@gautam. we probably watched different series. Aus fought on 5th day in mohali, ppl put in hard shift, they could have just rolled over and let india get 130 in 20 overs. Cowan and co are not saying we will see you guys in Aus/ these pitches are doctored. That is more honorable than the excuses indians gave. And Yes i believe Sehwag/ Gambhir/ kohli/ SRT are far better players but they all resorted to excuses as series progressed in Aus/Eng. Thats giving up.

Posted by   on (March 22, 2013, 2:33 GMT)

Will be good to see India sticking to the same formula and playing the same team. I don't believe heaviliy in the idea of resting players - Aus have done it on numerous occassions and it's part of the reason the team is in the disarray it is. The only time it should really be used is to rest a player who has really been overworked and is, or is on the threshold of, injury. I believe the selectors have finally chosen the best side, removed the old non-performing senior players (Zaheer, Gambhir and Sehwag), and are working towards a formula that works. More than that, this group, like the U19 side, is starting to work really well together AS A TEAM - the workload is being shared in both the batting and bowling department - and that is a promising prospect for team India.

Posted by NikhilNair on (March 22, 2013, 2:17 GMT)

Australia playing in India like India played in Australia. Good for India, bad for the game. One of the primary reasons why there's no clear leader among the top teams today is the "Ok, I lost to you in your backyard, but I still can beat you in my own backyard" attitude. Let's hope both teams show in Delhi, and we have a cracking contest!

Posted by   on (March 22, 2013, 2:17 GMT)

Kumble's 10-o-10 came in Delhi. I witnessed the historic event. Australian's already struggling against spin, might find that the nightmare is yet to end.

Posted by   on (March 22, 2013, 1:48 GMT)

what do think guys. is it going to be a whitewash or Team India will miss the chance? Is it going to be a payback or not?

Posted by TRAM on (March 22, 2013, 1:44 GMT)

There is a way how both Rahane, Raina can be accommodated and without losing SRT. That is by bringing in Rahane and Raina in place of Dhawan and Ishant from the prev 11. Ishant's bowling can be easily substituted without any harm to the team by Kholi, SRT, Raina and Ashwin who can also bowl in newball. This makes the Ind tail very short ! This would also create a healthy competition among the 6 batsmen, excluding Dhoni! Vijay,Pujara,Kholi,SRT,Rahane,Raina,Dhoni,Jadeja,Ashwin,Bhuvi,Ohja

Posted by 3Cents on (March 22, 2013, 1:41 GMT)

While the Indian team appears to be bouncing off their lows, it is still early days to make a call on this team and the youngsters. I am reasonably certain, this current Indian team will still get whacked by the English team that beat us 2-1. In fact this time around it is very likely we will not be able to win a single match against that team. Their bowling is significantly better than the Aus one and our batsmen, barring Pujara are not really capable of putting up a score. In India, to win a team has to score closer to 500, in their first innings. I don't think the current Indian batting outfit can achieve that. Did you notice how Sachin looked lot better in this series, where as, he was all at sea against Panesar/Swann and Anders/Finn. It is not that Sachin has recovered his form. It is the drop in quality of bowling that made Sachin look good. Our bowling is average (Aus batting sux against spin). The quality of our batsmen suspect. 4-0 result a eyewash just in time to promote IPL.

Posted by HowdyRowdy on (March 22, 2013, 1:06 GMT)

Hughes has been an absolute, abject failure against spin in this series.

Apparently the Dehli pitch is likely to favour the spinners.

It will another atrocious selection decision if Hughes is played in preference to Khawaja. That said, given the muddled thinking and flip-flopping of the Australian selectors, nothing would surprise.

Posted by Aoun786 on (March 22, 2013, 1:05 GMT)

I hope poor Khawaja gets a chance. Would be extremely surprised if he is excluded and they still play Hughes or even Smith.

Posted by Nerk on (March 22, 2013, 0:36 GMT)

India have been outstanding. However, a word of advice my Indian friends, speaking as an Aussie who watched his team defeat yours 4-0 at home, don't get too excited. We Aussie fans know just how far you can fall, and how quickly. We managed to beat you at home without raising a sweat, and odds are you are going to give us a 4-0 drubbing in return. But, remember this is the same Indian team that lost to England 3-1, and whilst they have learnt since then we both have to accept our respective teams have a long way to go before we can tackle the Saffers and poms again.

Posted by Ozcricketwriter on (March 22, 2013, 0:05 GMT)

I would be surprised if Lyon gets the nod ahead of Doherty. I would also be surprised if Maxwell gets another shot, with Khawaja yet to play. It would be cruel of the selectors to do this badly and not use all of their players in the squad so surely Khawaja will get a go. Phil Hughes would be extremely lucky if he gets to play this test but you never know.

Posted by hycIass on (March 21, 2013, 23:56 GMT)

O-bomb agree fully wiht you champ, Khawaja deserves his selection and his treatment is not acceptable. If he had half the chances the other young players are getting we would have an Aussie version of Amla. And Clarke reminds me alot of Border. I find the similarities in the fact they were/are both captain and by far the most dominant player intriguing.As leaders their respective styles are quite different, that much is obvious, but Clarke has the power to shape his team's future.If his back doesn't give up on him that is.

Posted by Mary_786 on (March 21, 2013, 23:50 GMT)

Is India an easier or harder place to tour than the 80′s and 90′s, I don't know the answer to that question , it's a tough one. Some say modern technology has helped and stronger economy, but also India's population has increased so much in the last 25 years, and a high middle class, means more than ever before are more people aware of cricket than the 1980′s.Remember everyone India's first love was field hockey not cricket, and field hockey is still big today, and now a big pro hockey league has been formed, and the Indian men's team are still one of the best field hockey teams in the world. For this match Khawaja has to get a crack, he is one of our best young batsman, i wouldn't go for Maxwell over Henriques because the Indians find his bowling too easy to face and Pattinson must come in.

Posted by Trickstar on (March 21, 2013, 23:43 GMT)

How the hell have India got a chance of finish 2nd in the rankings. Before this series they have been hopeless against any half decent Test side. Let's be right in the last 2 years, the only series they've won before this are, NZ in India, WI home and away. They've lost England home & away, Aus away and out of 23 tests they've lost 10 and won 9. In the same period England have beat, India home & away, SL home, WI home & lost against SA ad Pakistan. Just comparing the win loss ratio it's nt even close, England is at 1.42 and India's is only at 0.9.

Anyway apart from that COME ON TEAM INDIA, whitewash the Ozzies, right I'm off for a shower, I feel dirty.

Posted by Dazako on (March 21, 2013, 23:17 GMT)

What do the selectors not like about Khawaja, poor bloke was having great shiled season til Christmas, then asked to sit on the bench and run drinks for the next 4 months for Australia not getting an oportunity to play. It is good to be in and around the Aus side but not letting him play any games cannot be good for him, when he finally does get a bat he will be underdone from sitting on the bench and his good form wasted (or is this CA's intention). If they had no intention of playing him at least let him go home to play shield season maybe he could have been the only Aus player to hit 1000 runs this season, we will never know. CA is destroying this poor kids career.

Posted by creekeetman on (March 21, 2013, 22:36 GMT)

lol @ fans arguing which 4-0 defeat was worse.

lol @ watson at 4... oz 89 all out... 4-0

Posted by   on (March 21, 2013, 21:02 GMT)

What has happened to Usman Khawaja??, is he not in contetion to play in Delhi, Aus sure have a thin Batting line up, don't care if it's Haddin or Khawaja, they already lost Clarke, that's at least 50 run's, per an Innings( if he was fit), so I don't understand where there going to get some important runs from, Aus Batsman will have to step up, Brad Haddin should of at least Re-tained his place in the order, Really Shane Watson is replacing Clarke in the order, as captain and batsman, and looking at his average is not promising, in my opinion they should have at least 5 batsman at the top, who concentrate on thier batting alone, so they can score a good amount of runs, and then the bowlers to dotheir job.

Posted by   on (March 21, 2013, 20:06 GMT)

Will this Australian Team be ranked "THE WORST TEAM EVER"!!!

(Below is my analysis and happy to be proven wrong)

Only once has Australia lost 4-0, back in 1969-70 against Sth Africa. In that series Australia lost one game by an Innings, so a innings defeat will certainly catapult this team to the worst ever. Yes, Australia has lost more or the same amount of Tests in a Series Ashes 1911/12, 1928/29, 1932/33 & 1978/79, but at least Australia won a game in each of these series. Even when Australia 1980's teams that were ruthlessly smashed they got the occasional win and draw.

If Australia loses in Dehli, they will be on track for the most consecutive losses in Australian Test Match History when The Ashes commence.

Posted by   on (March 21, 2013, 19:48 GMT)

@ Mukul Ghildiyal - Let your words not be true.

Posted by Jesh1983 on (March 21, 2013, 19:37 GMT)

If rahane doesn't get in this game, then it will be the biggest indian travesty since azhurrudin was appointed captain

Posted by Shan156 on (March 21, 2013, 19:31 GMT)

Perhaps @Dhanno's argument is that India should not have really lost 0-4 with all the talent that they possessed while Australia's talent pool is limited and there is no surprise that they are losing 0-4 in unfamilar conditions. Still, a whitewash is a whitewash. And, it is not like Australia have lost yet. The likelihood of them losing 0-4 is very high, especially with Clarke unlikely to play. but you never know. Still, it is hilarious to see Steven Smith play at #5:-) Would love to see this team play in the Ashes.

Posted by Shan156 on (March 21, 2013, 19:25 GMT)

India are all set for the whitewash but I believe they should have picked Harbhajan for this game ahead of Ashwin. Ashwin has done well but he should be given a rest. The reason I say Harbhajan should have played is because he is probably the only Indian bowler who could trouble the SA batsmen and India are touring SA later this year. Harbhajan is a rhythm bowler and needs more overs under his belt. Ashwin has probably earned the first choice spinner place but Harbhajan should be on the plane to SA. What better time to give another chance to the best Indian spinner since Kumble than now when the series has already been won? It would also give Ashwin a well-deserved rest. India could also experiment by giving a chance to another paceman ahead of Ojha. They would still win.

Posted by Eat_Sleep_Play_Cricket on (March 21, 2013, 19:17 GMT)

Glad this series will be over in next 4 days that gives plenty of time for OZ's to submit their assignments before ashes. Good luck Oz, and all the best for your assignments on three points a) How to play Spin in subcontinent b) What does it take to play all 5 days of test match c) How to convert 50's into 100's and not throw away wickets. Each point should be atleast 50 words and can be submitted to mickey arthur via snail mail, broadcasted via radio or sliding the sheet under his basement door.

Posted by   on (March 21, 2013, 19:04 GMT)

Let this be Tendulkars last test.

Posted by screamingeagle on (March 21, 2013, 19:03 GMT)

@Dhanno, the difference is while both teams looked clueless, at least India did not look as inept as Aussies do in this series.

Posted by gsingh7 on (March 21, 2013, 18:54 GMT)

india will win inside 4 days even if we lose toss. if india win toss bat first, score 650 plus bowl aus out for 150 and 100 runs , save 2 days for rest for upcoming ipl . everything seems in line for historic whitewash. aus fans wud seen for first time their team being whitewashed in tests.

Posted by   on (March 21, 2013, 18:53 GMT)

Toss is crucial for Aussies. In this series they have not batted on fifth day pitch. Interesting to see their approach to first innings batting if they loose toss. They need to take leaf are two out of dravid/hussys book.

Posted by maddy20 on (March 21, 2013, 18:40 GMT)

@Dhanno, ProdigyA Whats happening to Aus right now is nothing short of the humiliation India received in Aus. You say "Australia has been outplayed, but they have tried to make point about discipline/ giving your best". So far, Aus has lost all the 3 tests inside 4 days and never looked like putting up a fight. Their batting standards have often been between inept to comical. If making a point about discipline means dropping your best players because they did not do some silly homework assignment is just plain rubbish. Pattinson was one of the few brightspots on this tour for them and he bowled like a champ. Dropping him before a game where the pitch favous fastbowlers more than any other ground in India is down right stupid. Asking a player to write down how he can improve his performance(Johnson, Khawaja)before they even played a game was hilarious stuff. I for one have never seen an Aussie team looking so desperate and clueless. England will steamroll them in the Ashes with ease!

Posted by TRAM on (March 21, 2013, 18:38 GMT)

@penagamuri, you are saying "Ishant is a good bowler". I dont know what your definition of good bowler is. Sorry. Being a good man, or hardworker does NOT make one a good bowler. Every bowler has his weapons/trump cards, be it a spinner or a pace bowler. That means he should have a set of deliveries (variations) within which he will keep bowling one or the other, to set up the batsman and to exploit the weakness of the batsman. That means the bowler should have 1. bowling variations 2. ability to study the batsman's skills/intentions. Ishant is bowling for so many years, can you tell us what his special ball is ? Or can you tell us if he has ANY variation at all? Have you seen him bowl slower balls, yorkers, great swinging / seaming deliveries? Does he even have a plan for each batsman when they arrive at the crease? Ask young Bhuvaneshwar he will tell you what plan he has, in spite of bowling at 120+ ! It is pathetic to see Ishant's non-learning for years.

Posted by   on (March 21, 2013, 18:28 GMT)

Australia Gone !!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by foursandsixes on (March 21, 2013, 18:25 GMT)

@Dhanno, Australia have also been outplayed and lost in 4 days for all test matches.

Posted by   on (March 21, 2013, 18:05 GMT)

@Dhanno: You must be an australian posting as an Indian. This series (3-0) so far has been as comprehensively dominated by India as the 4-0 in australia was dominated by the hosts. Face it. Barring the last wicket partnership at Chennai, Austalians have been unable to take the test match into the 5th day, so what on earth are you talking about? Aussies look defeated and have given up on this series even before a ball is bowled in the delhi test or even before the Mohali test for that matter. There are reports of infighting and lack of unity, discipline. This series is a mirror image of the series in Australia,Scorelines do not lie, mate. Their last visit was a 2-0 in 2 test matches and now they are staring at 4-0. I don't remember India having consecutive whitewashes in Australia or England. In fact, prior to the two 4-0 series that India haters like you have pounced upon, India won a lot of test matches outside the subcontinent from 2001-2011 which is how they became no.1 for a year.

Posted by Beertjie on (March 21, 2013, 17:45 GMT)

Now although I'm wary of accepting advice from Indian posters and I have never been to India I'll accept the suggestion of @rockyyy on (March 21, 2013, 13:11 GMT): "watchout for Moises henriques and shane watson if he bowls, this pitch suits for slow medium pacers. no horizantal shots shud be played here." Now that was my thought too, so it simplifies selection. But don't expect the selectors on tour to understand conditions after the mess they've made so far. Since Hughes' main scoring shots are horizontal one's, he's out. So is Clarke. So now who should play? Watson, Cowan, Warner, Khawaja, Smith, Haddin, Henriques, Johnson, Siddle, Pattinson, Lyon. Maxwell and Wade could come in for the other horizontal batters who can't adapt. But hey, what do I know? At least I wasn't part of the clueless lot who picked the squad in the first place!

Posted by penagamuri on (March 21, 2013, 17:39 GMT)

Its irks me that every one is bashing ishant sharma . He is a very good bowler. He was spectacular in England even against England in Odis .. he is tall and lanky and has the pace to trouble southafrican batsmen. His stats and recent performances may not advertise him well but i am more than sure he will be very very handy in saf as they have a lot of right handed batsmen and he has the tendency to bowl well to right handers ... and he has some pace as well.

Posted by ProdigyA on (March 21, 2013, 17:27 GMT)

@Dhanno - Well very put. It was such a pain to see the Indian team in Eng and Aus. Lack of a willingness to learn, to adapt, to change, to fight. Everything was missing. Captain cool's calmness looks cool when India wins but in Eng and Aus, he was just annoying after loss after loss. Should have sent a rock instead of Dhoni.

Posted by   on (March 21, 2013, 17:22 GMT)

I have no idea why the team management would be so reluctant to play rahane . But I can see raina coming out in whites tomorrow . Many newspaper articles suggesting that raina will play as a middle order batsman and pujara will open but wasn't rahane selected as a middle order batsman in the first place . And more importantly he will be our no.6 in SA I can't imagine jadeja against the most potent bowling attack in the world .

Posted by true_test_cricket_fan on (March 21, 2013, 16:58 GMT)

Ishant Sharma is probably the luckiest person to be selected in the Indian playing XI irrespective of the string of below par performances this series. He has never looked threatening with the ball and the aussies would welcome facing him rather than a Ashwin or Ojha or even B.Kumar with the new ball (who is able to move the ball). Not too sure how long the selectors would keep their faith on Ishant Sharma and continue to select him just because he gets "some" reverse swing with the old ball.

Posted by Sanj747 on (March 21, 2013, 16:22 GMT)

@Dhanno spot on. As for Harbhajan this guy is a laugh. Can't even take wickets and command a place in the team. India have outplayed Australia and no doubt are the deserved winners of the series but a little bit of perspective helps.

Posted by Anubhav-the-Experience on (March 21, 2013, 15:59 GMT)

It feels like Indians are saying that pitches are bad...whereas Aussies are saying that they are not that bad...mind games...

Posted by   on (March 21, 2013, 15:45 GMT)

Why Ishanth Sharma is to be retained ? He says, his job was to contain in the last Test matches, as if he did it . I am afraid, his form with new ball and ability to reverse with old balls. When we have overseas tour to SA, is it not wise to give chance to Dinda or other promising youngsters like Bhuvaneshvar Kumar. We should learn from Australians how they think dropping players like Moises Henriques, who made aa good debut.

Posted by phunny_game on (March 21, 2013, 15:25 GMT)

With a history of India getting complacent after a series win and not going for the kill + the fact that steve smith, phil hughes, Matt Wade, Cowan, Warner, Siddle all looking good in their last match, this will be a tough contest. Return of Pattinson will boost their bowling... And also maxwell likely to replace Henriques, who has been a walking wicket after the chennai test, and also bowled ineffectively throughout the series.... To many good things happening to the Australian team for this match... Its a dicey call to guess who will be the better team for this match!!!

Posted by Dhanno on (March 21, 2013, 14:46 GMT)

The difference between smarting india received in ENG/ AUS vs what is happening to AUS is: India were outplayed and never looked like getting up, fighting till end. They used the same guys over and over, made excuses about pitches and talked about how they are better at home. Australia has been outplayed, but they have tried to make point about discipline/ giving your best. Changed the personnel maybe not to great effect but that is down to the limited pool they have. There havent been complaints by their bats that the pitches are doctored but a desire to learn and do better. For India in those series, as matches progressed you could see we were defeated even before a ball was bowled. Australia managed to stretch us in Mohali with a meager target.

They might lose 4-0 but there is huge difference in two 4-0 defeats.

Posted by SasiGladi on (March 21, 2013, 14:37 GMT)

I feel Bhuvi is one of the best find in the series, he penetrated top twice in last two test....both were very crucial for victory...I feel he will rock in SA....also now our spin attack is in best form than the time when we are in NO1 as a pack Ash,jad, ohj are best in attack were vistors will feel tough to beat us in home...I can compare them with other teams fast bowling pack....

Posted by realfan on (March 21, 2013, 14:15 GMT)

RAHANE wasnt the one who faced the press conference... that tells it all.... he will not get a chance in this match tooo..... he will get selected for SA tour where sachin completes his 200th match and retires and in the last match rahane will get to play and he wont be scoring much ( thats sure , it aint going to be easy for him to make debut against attack lead by styne ) and he will be droped after that match..... and again he continues scoring tons of runs in domestic cricket, he will be next jaffer or majumdhar or akash chopra or may be bhadrinath......

hard to accept, but this will be the fact....

Posted by Rags57 on (March 21, 2013, 14:11 GMT)

I would not count the chickens before they are hatched. Yes, a 4-0 finish may be what the odds say but Australia would be playing out of their skin to avoid that possibility. Shane Watson would want to prove a thing or two to Mickey and Co. for the punishment he got and Pattinson's return should bolster the attack. The absence of a regular opener could hurt India. One big partnership has saved India in every test and India have collapsed badly in two of the three tests when that big partnership ended. So Dhoni and the entire Indian team is advised to not be complacent and instead be ruthless and efficient in their execution. All the best, team India, for a rare series whitewash!!

Posted by   on (March 21, 2013, 13:48 GMT)

Boss, Brad Haddin should play

Posted by Nampally on (March 21, 2013, 13:42 GMT)

It looks like a "payback" time ! Just like India was totally outplayed in the last Oz Tour, the Aussies are getting a taste of their own medicine with a potential sweep in the offing.Sending a team who have no experience in playing the spinners was a major mistake. To make the matters worse, the Aussies have relied heavily on their seamers to take wkts. on spinners pitches. The uncompromising attitude of the Coach Arthur further exacerbated the situation. For the Final Test the Aussies must welcome back 3 of the 4 suspended players - Watson, Pattinson & Johnson. They also need Clarke to be fit. Warner, Cowan, Hughes, Haddin, Siddle, + 2 spinners are likely to be the remaining team. This team is not a potential 0-4 team at least on paper. Watson & Clarke are still amongst the 2 best batsmen & they can still rise up. As for India in each test their batting had at least 2 big contributions.The spinners led by Ashwin have bowled consistently well. Can the Aussies prevent the whitewash?

Posted by sheenu on (March 21, 2013, 13:19 GMT)

To all those blaming the Indian pitches: I agree with you all 100%. I know how it happens!!. Before India bats, the groundsmen bring in a dead track and roll it into the pitch. And before the Australians bat, they roll the pitch up and take it back, leaving a dust bowl for the Indian spinners to exploit!!

Posted by ishaan1997 on (March 21, 2013, 13:14 GMT)

And adding to what i said, Rahane should play since he is in the squad for 16 months and almost 5 or 6 members have made debut since then. And also, among all the members of the squad, rahane has the best average(Around 62)

Posted by rockyyy on (March 21, 2013, 13:11 GMT)

watchout for Moises henriques and shane watson if he bowls, this pitch suits for slow medium pacers. no horizantal shots shud be played here.

Posted by   on (March 21, 2013, 13:10 GMT)

When raina get chance? BCCI will select him on tough SA tour and if he will not perform well thn he will again drop for 2-3 years...

Posted by Sivashankar_XI on (March 21, 2013, 13:10 GMT)

Dhoni will have Raina in the side as he's the specialist in slip fielding. Remember virat kohli has dropped 3 catches in the 3rd test. This might be the reason for Raina Call up.

Posted by Cricinfo_Paven on (March 21, 2013, 13:07 GMT)

Siddarth, U missed the find of the tournament Bhuvaneshwar Kumar., He is pretty much on the line along with the guys u mentioned. Hope Bhuvi fulfills all our hopes in the future as well..

Posted by Barnesy4444 on (March 21, 2013, 13:05 GMT)

This is a very inexperienced Australian team. Wholesale changes won't help much. When Hughes go to England playing Swann will seem like a cake walk!! LOL He will smash their quicks, he's played in England a lot.

Posted by   on (March 21, 2013, 12:56 GMT)

India will hand Australia a ruthless innings defeat. Its a forgone conclusion

Posted by ishaan1997 on (March 21, 2013, 12:53 GMT)

I get a feeling that rahane wont play from the selection of raina in he squad. Why would he be added in place of an injured opener?

Posted by Barath_K on (March 21, 2013, 12:50 GMT)

Come on Boys. Go for the kill. Show no mercy

Posted by o-bomb on (March 21, 2013, 12:43 GMT)

Circumstances conspired to give Hughes another chance in the last test and it looks like he'll play this one too. I almost feel sorry for Khawaja as I think he's a far better player than Hughes. As for the Indian squad I really hope Rahane plays. I can only imagine Raina is back in the squad due to his outstanding skills as a water carrier.

Posted by SamRoy on (March 21, 2013, 12:37 GMT)

The only interesting thing to look forward to whether Rahane gets a game or Dhoni gets his buddy Raina back at No. 5 or No. 6 and commands Pujara to open the innings. I do remember Pujara getting an earful from Dhoni in the 2nd test!

Posted by ozwriter on (March 21, 2013, 12:32 GMT)

"technical ineptness". maybe the australian selectors can focus on that.

Rather than choosing good 'leaders' who make good power point presentations to cover up for their lack of cricketing talent. cricketing ability and performance on the field should be no.1 attribute sought by the selectors, not 'intensity', 'culture' and other management nonsense.

Posted by ozwriter on (March 21, 2013, 12:29 GMT)

not even an australian hiding will be justice for the absurd decisions by our selection panel. at least it may give them a hint that they are going in the wrong direction. the team needs to amend before the ashes that IMO, that may involve dropping whistle blower and coach's pet cowan, walking wicket hughes and giving a last chance to failing wade.

Posted by EverybodylovesSachin on (March 21, 2013, 12:27 GMT)

Australia will play real hard to avoid whitewash and in Delhi it is going to be very difficult for them to do so..this game will not go in the fifth day..

Posted by ramli on (March 21, 2013, 12:24 GMT)

If Rahane does not make his debut in Delhi ... he may not even by selected for SA tour if his form in the coming domestic matches takes a dip ... poor guy ... pray for him

Posted by ramli on (March 21, 2013, 12:21 GMT)

Rahane's wait is due to the fact that he is not an opener at test level even though he has enough success in ODIs ... he is more suited for middle order ... he can still make his debut if Pujara can open with Vijay ... good luck to Rahane ...

Posted by   on (March 21, 2013, 12:20 GMT)

If Rahane does not get a chance to play, even in this test (I don't care, what position they slot him), that will be the biggest injustice done to any young talented Indian cricketer, in the recent past.

He got more than enough experience in carrying drinks and substitute fielding. Now, he needs some experience as an international batsman, even if it is on a home ground. How they will ALL fare in overseas conditions is equally applicable to half the "new" team. So, we should not throw that excuse to exclude Rahane.

Posted by himohan007 on (March 21, 2013, 12:16 GMT)

No matter who plays in the XI but all we want is 4-0. But it would be belated justice to play Rahane as opener since he has been with the squad for more than 2 years

Posted by   on (March 21, 2013, 12:13 GMT)

One small doubt: Is there any need for Sachin to play in this dead rubber? He sitting out will open up chance for another youngster, with a long potential future. And, the selectors will have a larger pool, to test out, and select from.

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Tour Results
India v Australia at Delhi - Mar 22-24, 2013
India won by 6 wickets
India v Australia at Mohali - Mar 14-18, 2013
India won by 6 wickets
India v Australia at Hyderabad (Deccan) - Mar 2-5, 2013
India won by an innings and 135 runs
India v Australia at Chennai - Feb 22-26, 2013
India won by 8 wickets
India A v Australians at Chennai - Feb 16-18, 2013
Match drawn
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