Injury and Idiocy – A preview of the fourth test
The fourth and final Test of the Border/Gavaskar Trophy is coming soon. However, there have been a lot of events that have taken place in the last few days that have promised to make it a lot more interesting. Firstly, Mickey Arthur’s “homework” policy rebounded on him badly as now even Mitchell Starc has flown home with a back injury, leaving Peter Siddle the only full time pacer left. Also, captain Micheal Clarke is doubtful. So Shane Watson has been recalled to play, which has really undermined the whole idea and respectability of Arthur’s move. Now if Clarke plays, Watto comes in for him and takes up the mantle; no issues. However, if Clarke does play, the headache comes in. Both Steve Smith and Phil Hughes displayed good touch in Mohali, and dropping either would be very unlucky. And speaking of unlucky, Shikhar Dhawan has been dropped from the fourth test due to an injury he procured while fielding. He made a stunning 187 in 174 to give India a great advantage. Gautam Gambhir was considered, but unfortunately has Jaundice. So Suresh Raina has been called up in his stead. The interesting thing will be to see whether Ajinkya Rahane gets a game as an opener, or if Pujara will be made to open and Raina brought into the middle order. Either way, this makes sure that Dhawan’s departure – other than taking away the bonus of a great in-form batsman – will not have a negative impact on the team. So basically saying, India are in a far better position that Australia, be it in score or selection. The visitors have but one thing to do now: wait and see if Clarke will be fit for the next test. If not, they will bring in Watto for him, and allow Maxwell in for Starc, to strengthen the bowling. If Pup is fit, then they have two options: either to allow Watson to play and risk the increased vulnerability of their bowling, or bring in Maxwell, who doesn’t do too much towards the bowling either, but provides an extra option, nonetheless. With all these headaches around the visitors, I am more than certain that India are by far the favorites to win this game. Nonetheless, good luck to both!