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Australia vs India 2020-21: Injury Scare For Mitchell Starc; Australia Hopes For His Availability For The Important Fifth Day Of Brisbane Test
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Australia vs India 2020-21: Injury Scare For Mitchell Starc; Australia Hopes For His Availability For The Important Fifth Day Of Brisbane Test

On the fourth day of the last Test, Australia have put enough on the scoreboard against India to maintain their dominating history in the Gabba but the host is currently under a threat. Their premier bowler Mitchell Starc has likely injured his right hamstring ahead of the all-important fifth day.

During India’s second innings on day four, Mitchell Starc was seen grabbing his hamstring after delivering the first over in the second innings and that must have left Australia worried.

Steve Smith hopes Mitchell Starc will be fit:

Australia vs India 2020-21: Injury Scare For Mitchell Starc; Australia Hopes For His Availability For The Important Fifth Day Of Brisbane Test 1
Mitchell Starc. Image Credit: Getty Images.

However, Steve Smith beliefs that Mitchell Starc is tough and would be ready to bowl during the fifth day of the final Test of the series. He said that the pacer had played with some injuries in past but has successfully done the job for India.

“I saw the same thing when he was walking back, he was grabbing at his right hamstring.

“I’m sure he’ll get it assessed by the medical staff and one thing I know about Mitchell is he’s tough and he’s played through some injuries before and got the job done. He’ll be hopefully good to go,” Smith said according to The Courier Mail.

Australia vs India 2020-21: Injury Scare For Mitchell Starc; Australia Hopes For His Availability For The Important Fifth Day Of Brisbane Test 2
Image Credit: Getty Images.

Apart from Mitchell Starc, Pat Cummins seem to have hurt his elbow as he didn’t come to bowl at the end of the fourth day. He was hit on the elbow off Mohammed Siraj as one of the deliveries deviated a lot after hitting the crack in the middle of the pitch. But the tailender continued to bat.

The injury of Pat Cummins didn’t seem to be serious. However, any bowler’s ouster will be undoubtedly an advantage for India, who have also lost their premier bowlers because of injury.

Australia has set a target of 328 for India and will have around 98 overs to bowl them out. Rain might play spoilsports and some overs will be lost. The host will be looking to pick wickets as soon as possible while India will have to save their wickets to retain the Border-Gavaskar Trophy.

Cricket Australia Confirms Indian Team Was Subjected To Racial Abuse
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Australia vs India 2020-21: A Phone Call With My Mom Made Me Mentally Strong: Mohammed Siraj After Picking Five-Wicket Haul

Mohammed Siraj’s courageous decision to stay with Team India has been paid off as the speedster registered his maiden Test fifer during the fourth Test match against Australia. He is the only Indian bowler on the tour to add a five-wicket haul in his name.

Mohammed Siraj had lost his father before the start of the tour when he was in bio-bubble in Australia. But he took the bold decision to stay with the team instead of returning to give a final farewell to his father. He stayed to fulfill his father’s dream to play Test cricket. But behind the tough decision, there was his mother, who motivated him and gave him the mental strength to give his best against all the odds.

After talking to my mom at home, I gained some confidence: Mohammed Siraj

Australia vs India 2020-21: A Phone Call With My Mom Made Me Mentally Strong: Mohammed Siraj After Picking Five-Wicket Haul 3
Mohammed Siraj. Image Credit: Getty Images.

At the end of the fourth day of the fourth Test, Mohammed Siraj revealed that a phone call from his mother gave him a much-needed confidence to focus on the game. He is thankful and belief that his father would have been happy for achieving the feat.

“I am thankful that I was able to pick five wickets as it was a very tough situation for me after my dad passed away. But after talking to my mom at home, I gained some confidence. The call with my mom made me mentally strong. My focus was to fulfill my dad’s wish,” said Siraj while replying to a query from ANI.

“I want to thank god that I got the chance to play for India as it was my dad’s wish too. If he was alive today, he would have been very happy. But I know his blessings were with me and I am speechless after my performance,” said Mohammed Siraj. 

Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Siraj
Image Credit: Getty Images.
Apart from his father’s demises, Mohammed Siraj was also racially abused during the third Test by the Sydney crowd. He had officially complained about the same to umpires after which some fans were taken out of the field. However, the pacer didn’t let all the commotions affect him. In the fourth Test, he leads India’s inexperienced bowling attack and bundled out the host for 294 runs in the second innings.
Steve Smith Overtakes Sachin Tendulkar and Virender Sehwag To Became Fastest Batsman To Score 7,500 Test Runs
Steve Smith. Image Credit: Getty Images.
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Steve Smith Overtakes Sachin Tendulkar and Virender Sehwag To Became Fastest Batsman To Score 7,500 Test Runs

Australia’s batting mainstay Steve Smith has surpassed Virender Sehwag and Sachin Tendulkar — to become the fastest batsman to score 7,500 Test runs. He held this record after scoring a fluent 55 runs on day four of the fourth Test match against India.

Steve Smith took 139 innings to reach the landmark, in the process of beating the previous record jointly held by the Indian duo of Sachin Tendulkar and Virender Sehwag (144 innings). Following them are Sir Garfield Sobers and Kumar Sangakkara, who took 147 innings apiece to reach 7500 Test runs, while another Indian legend – Rahul Dravid – got there in 148 innings.

Steve Smith achieves two more feats:

Steve Smith Overtakes Sachin Tendulkar and Virender Sehwag To Became Fastest Batsman To Score 7,500 Test Runs 4
Steve Smith. Image Credit: Getty Images.

During his 55-run knock, Steve Smith also completed 12,000 First-class runs with his half-century which led Australia to put 328 runs on their second innings.

He also went past former Australian captain Mark Taylor in the list of Australia’s leading run-scorers in Test cricket.

Steve Smith is now at number eight with 7540 runs in 77 Tests at an average of 61.80 with 27 hundreds and 31 fifties. Taylor scored 7525 runs in 104 Tests at an average of 43.49, which included 19 hundred and 40 half-centuries.

Steve Smith’s return to form put Australian’s in a strong position:

Steve Smith Overtakes Sachin Tendulkar and Virender Sehwag To Became Fastest Batsman To Score 7,500 Test Runs 5
Image Credit: Getty Images.

Ravichandran Ashwin had made Steve Smith his bunny in the first two Test matches, picking his wicket for a duck in the first innings of the second Test. And, cricket boffins stated that Smith is out of form.

But the unorthodox batsman defied all the talks around his form by scoring the first century of the series in the third Test. He was the highest scorer in that match which ended in a draw because the visitors showed their pure class and resilience to fight back.

In the fourth Test of the second innings, Mohammed Siraj bowled a beauty to pick one of the best Test batsmen wicket. Smith had contributed 36 runs in Australia’s first innings.

Tim Paine. Image Credit: Getty Images.
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Australia vs India 2020-21: Tim Paine Urges Spectators To Respect All Players During The Brisbane Test Match

Australia’s Test captain Tim Paine has urged the spectators coming to watch the India and Australia play the last series in Brisbane to respect all the players. His statement is the reaction to the Indian players Mohammed Siraj and Jasprit Bumrah being racially abused by some crowd in Sydney Cricket Ground.

On day four of the third Test, the play was halted for about 10 minutes after Siraj complained to the on-field umpire about being racially abused by some fans when he was fielding near the rope. Following this, six people from the crowd were thrown out of the stadium.

My suggestion is you leave the abuse at the gate and just respect the players: Tim Paine

Australia vs India 2020-21: Tim Paine Urges Spectators To Respect All Players During The Brisbane Test Match 6

In light of the Sydney racism row, Australia captain Tim Paine has urged the spectators to ‘leave the abuse at the gate’ when they enter the Gabba for the 4th Test in Brisbane.

“In terms of crowd behaviour – we don’t condone the abuse of anyone; let alone from the racial standpoint. So we want people to come along to the Gabba, enjoy the game of cricket, support Australia, support India. Support the umpires if you like. But my suggestion is you leave the abuse at the gate and just respect the players, respect the game and have a good time,” Paine said as quoted by ESPNCricinfo.

Mitchell Starc, Tim Paine
Tim Paine with Mitchell Starc (Photo credit – DAVID GRAY/AFP/Getty Images)

Australia has a dominant history in Brisbane. The host had last been defeated in a Test match at the Gabba 33 years ago, in 1988, while India has never won any at the venue. Tim Paine is confident that they have an advantage over visitors in the fourth match venue.

“Yeah, it [the Gabba] is right up there, no doubt about that. It’s a hard place to come and play cricket. Even for Tasmanians and Victorians to come here, it can be challenging to adjust to the different bounce and speed of the wicket. It’s something that has been to the advantage of Australian teams for a long time,” he added.

The final Test will begin on January 15.

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Australia vs India: 4th Test- Team India To Reveal Playing XI During Toss: Reports

The injury woes in India’s camp has forced the team management to take the final call on the XI on the morning of the fourth Test match against Australia scheduled in Brisbane from January 15 (Friday). Notably, in the last three Test matches, the visitors have announced their playing XI a day before.

India’s spearhead of the bowling attack Jasprit Bumrah has an abdominal strain. As per reports, he was in pain during the third Test match in Sydney but kept bowling. According to ANI, India’s batting coach Vikram Rathour has said that the medical team is working with the speedster to regain his fitness before the start of the match. The final call on his inclusion will take on the day of the fourth Test.

A late call is expected to be made over the participation of R Ashwin and Jasprit Bumrah in Team India’s playing XI

Australia vs India 2020-21: Vikram Rathour Gives Hope Of Jasprit Bumrah Availabililty In Brisbane
Jasprit Bumrah. Image Credit: Getty Images.

Apart from Jasprit Bumrah, Ravichandran Ashwin and Hanuma Vihari played in a lot of pain on the fifth day in Sydney to save the game for India. The former tweaked his back while the latter picked up a hamstring injury but the two continued to bat with a dogged mindset and took the game to draw which Australia should have won.

As of now, Hanuma Vihari is ruled out and Mayank Agarwal is likely to take his place but he was also injured during the net session. On the other hand, Ashwin’s fitness is still under examination.

Australia vs India: 4th Test- Team India To Reveal Playing XI During Toss: Reports 7
Ravichandran Ashwin. Image Credit: Getty Images.

If Ashwin fails to make the cut into the line-up at the Gabba, Kuldeep Yadav could take his place while there’s also the option of Washington Sundar who can prove to be handy with the bat.

Meanwhile, India has already lost Mohammed Shami, Umesh Yadav and KL Rahul because of injury. Virat Kohli is in India with his wife who has early this week given birth to their first child while Ishant Sharma didn’t travel to Australia because he still regained his full fitness.

India Likely XI: Rohit Sharma, Shubman Gill, Cheteshwar Pujara, AJjinkya Rahane (c), Mayank Agarwal, Rishabh Pant, Washington Sunday, R Ashwin/Kuldeep Yadav, Jasprit Bumrah/Shardul Thakur, Navdeep Saini, Mohammed Siraj

Australia vs India 2020-21: Vikram Rathour Gives Hope Of Jasprit Bumrah Availabililty In Brisbane
Jasprit Bumrah. Image Credit: Getty Images.

Australia vs India 2020-21: Vikram Rathour Gives Hope Of Jasprit Bumrah Availabililty In Brisbane

India’s batting coach Vikram Rathour has opined that the medical team is closely working with Jasprit Bumrah to regain full fitness ahead of the fourth and last Test match against Australia in Brisbane scheduled to begin on January 15.

Jasprit Burmah, who is the spearhead of India’s bowling attack, picked up abdominal strain during the third Test in Sydney, where the visitors showed the dogged character. Currently, he is the only left pacer in India’s squad, who has the experience of playing against Australians in Brisbane. Mohammed Shami and Umesh Yadav have been ruled out because of injury while Ishant Sharma didn’t travel to Australia because he was not fully fit.

And, thus if Burmah also get dropped, it will be a big loss for Team India, who are striving to retain the Border-Gavaskar Trophy.

Jasprit Bumrah is being monitored: Vikram Rathour

Australia vs India 2020-21: Vikram Rathour Gives Hope Of Jasprit Bumrah Availabililty In Brisbane 8
Jasprit Bumrah. Inmage Credit: Getty Images.

However, as per reports in ANI, Vikram Rathour has proclaimed that they have not completely looked over Bumrah’s availability. They will wait and watch until the fourth Test morning before the toss to consider him playing if he gets fit.

“The medical team is working with Bumrah, we have to see tomorrow morning whether he is fit to play the fourth Test or not. If he can play, he will play, if he cannot, then he won’t,” ANI quoted Rathour as saying.

“The injuries are still being monitored. Our medical staff is looking into it, I would not be in a position to comment on this right now. We would like to give them as much time as possible. It will be tomorrow morning that you will know which eleven takes the field,” Rathour added.

Australia vs India 2020-21: Vikram Rathour Gives Hope Of Jasprit Bumrah Availabililty In Brisbane 9
Ravichandran Ashwin. Image Credit: Getty Images.

Apart from Jasprit Bumrah, Ravichandran Ashwin has also tweaked his back. He played a gritty knock on the fifth day with the pain to save the game for India. His fitness will also be examined and India will reveal the playing XI only on match day. In the last three matches, the visitors have named their playing XI one day before the match.

Nathan Lyon
Nathan Lyon. Image Credit: Getty Images.
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Australia vs India 2020-21: Nathan Lyon Doesn’t Believe Australia Has Advantage Over India Despite Their 33-Year Unbeaten Record In Brisbane

Australia’s Test spinner specialist Nathan Lyon doesn’t believe his side carries a big advantage against India in Brisbane, where the host has been undefeatable in 1988. But he reckons that the history of Australia in the fourth Test venue gives them a lot of confidence to face India packed with talent.

Currently, the four-match Test series is levelled with both the teams winning one match while the third Test match in Sydney ended in a draw. The last and fourth Test will decide the winner of the high-profile series.

Seeing the grit and gumption of Indians in Sydney, Nathan Lyon doesn’t want to underestimate the visitors. He reckons that India has talented players in their squad.

“I wouldn’t say that (Australia have the advantage). You look at the class throughout the Indian squad, yes they will be missing a couple of big players but they have got a talented squad they can pick from,” Nathan Lyon said during a virtual press conference on Wednesday.

Team India are to win this series: Nathan Lyon

Ravichandran Ashwin, Nathan Lyon
Ravichandran Ashwin and Nathan Lyon (Image Credit: Twitter)

The seasoned campaigner hopes that they would come out in full force and get better off the Indian team.

“To be honest, we have to worry about our preparation. We can’t look too far at what they are doing. As bowlers, we are very well suited for the Gabba and hopefully we can put them into play nice and early when we have the ball in hand,” Nathan Lyon stated.

Australia vs India 2020-21: Nathan Lyon Doesn't Believe Australia Has Advantage Over India Despite Their 33-Year Unbeaten Record In Brisbane 10
Nathan Lyon. (Photo by Robert Cianflone/Getty Images)

Nathan Lyon is wary of India’s hunger to clinch the series and so, he expects his side to play a positive brand of cricket

We do have an amazing record here at Gabba, we do have the confidence and we know how to play a really positive brand of cricket here at Brisbane. But we can’t rest on that. We know how talented India are and how hungry they are to win this series.” 

India doesn’t have their full squad for the last Test as Jasprit Bumrah and Ravichandran Ashwin are still doubtful while Ravindra Jadeja has been ruled out.

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Australia vs India 2020-21: Cricket Australia Seek Clarification Over Reports India Will Not fly To Brisbane

A few days before the start of the third Test, reports have surfaced that Team India has disagreed to travel Brisbane if they had to go a strict quarantine. But Cricket Australia (CA) has been positive that the visitors are ready to tour the fourth venue of the last Test match.

According to Cricbuzz, a source informed that the Indian squad was ‘not keen’ on making the flight if they would be restricted to their rooms.

Cricket Australia seek clarification:

Australia vs India 2020-21: Cricket Australia Seek Clarification Over Reports India Will Not fly To Brisbane 11
Australia national cricket team. Image Credit: Getty Images.

To clarify the reports going around, CA had a talk with the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) on Thursday. According to which, the hosts had reassured that the touring team’s board they would not be living under stricter restrictions in Brisbane than they have been in Sydney.

In Sydney and Brisbane, they will be only allowed to leave their rooms to see one another but not their hotels for anything other than training and playing at the respective grounds.

In the first two Test matches, players of both the team were allowed to move out of their hotel to travel. But after the outbreak of the new coronavirus strain in Sydney, Cricket Australia has restricted the moment of players.

Australia vs India 2020-21: Cricket Australia Seek Clarification Over Reports India Will Not fly To Brisbane 12
Image Credit: Getty Images.

The stand-in captain Ajinkya Rahane had also said that they don’t want to focus on the talks going outside and any decision would be left to officials, not players.

“We as players, we are just focusing on this Test match. The Indian team management will take the decisions. For us as players, it’s all about giving our best on the field. The Test match is starting tomorrow (Thursday) so we are just focusing on that and we want to do well.” Rahane said.

Currently, India and Australia are playing the third Test match. Day one ended up with Australia putting 166 on board at the loss of two wickets. Had rain not interrupted, they would have easily put up 300 runs on board.

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Stadium At Perth. Image Credit: Getty Images.
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WACA Chief Fumes After Cricket Australia Snub Perth As India’s Test Series Venue

Western Australia Cricket Association(WACA) Chief Christina Matthews has criticised Cricket Australia(CA) for not selecting Perth as one of the venues for the high-profile Test series against India in the summer. The four venues which would host the Test matches are Brisbane, Adelaide, Melbourne and Sydney.

Disappointed with CA’s decision, WACA added that he could not understand why the board took such a decision. He was saddened to see Brisbane getting a Test match over Perth though Perth has better facilities than Brisbane in every way.

The India series would begin in Brisbane from December 3, followed by games in Adelaide (December 11-15), Melbourne (December 26-30) and Sydney (January 3-7).

WACA Chief voice against CA

India, Australia, Test Series, Test Series
Australia vs India. Photo Credit: Getty Images.

“The government invested hundreds of thousands of dollars to make Perth Stadium cricket friendly from the start, so all the facilities for cricket were built into that, and at the time Cricket Australia gave a guarantee to the government that they would absolutely be utilising that stadium to its fullest,” Matthews said.

“I just want to say as chair of the WACA and on behalf of the WACA and all cricket lovers in WA, I’m really disappointed in this decision. I actually think it’s the wrong decision, we made a really compelling case, along with the government to CA, I looked at that again this morning, and when I went through it, I just can’t understand why they’d make that decision,” he added.

Perth will be hosting the low profile one-off Test against Afghanistan in November. Last year, Australia had won the Test match against India by 146 runs and level the series by 1-1 in Perth. This year, India would tour Australia in October to play three-match T20I series and then Test series in December. In January 2022, the two teams will play the ODI series.

Parthiv Patel, Matthew Hayden
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Mathew Hayden Wanted To Beat Me Up In Brisbane: Parthiv Patel

Indian cricketer Parthiv Patel has revealed that the former cricketer Matthew Hayden was ready to punch him during the ODI match of VB series in 2004 after the wicketkeeper-batsman provoked him.

In that ODI match, VVS Laxman and Sachin Tendulkar’s batting excellence had led India to set the target of 304 runs. Parthiv was not included in the playing XI as he was benched. He reminisced that Australia was under immense pressure because they were continually losing the wickets.

The wicketkeeper-batsman said that when Matthew Hayden lost his wicket after scoring 109 off 107 balls, he teased him while carrying the drinks.

Parthiv Patel | Indian cricket team |
Parthiv Patel (Image Credit: Twitter)

“I was carrying drinks in Brisbane, it was the match in which Irfan Pathan got him out,” Parthiv Patel told 100 Hours 100 Stars.

“He had already scored a hundred, and it was a crucial stage when Irfan got him out. And I was just passing him by and I did a ‘hoo hoo’ to him.”

Mathew Hayden Wanted To Beat Me Up In Brisbane: Parthiv Patel 13
Mathew Hayden. Image Credit: Twitter

In response to Parthiv’s action, the Aussie cricketer blocked the way of Parthiv while he was going to the dressing room. Hayden had threatened Parthiv to punch on his face.

“He got so angry at me. He was standing at the Brisbane dressing room which is like a tunnel,” Parthiv said.

“He was standing there, and he said ‘if you do this again, I will punch your face’. I said ‘sorry’, I stood around and he went off.”

Matthew Hayden Prepared chicken biryani and dal for me: Parthiv Patel

Parthiv Patel makes come back In Team India as a back up for MS Dhoni
Parthiv Patel. Image Credit: Twitter

Well, the relation between Parthiv and Hayden changed after they played together for CSK in IPL 2008. Both the players became the opening partners and started sharing a good bond.

“Yeah, Hayden wanted to beat me up in Brisbane. But we became good friends after that. We played a lot of cricket together at CSK. We enjoyed each other’s company. Opening the batting was fun with him. We’ve had good times off the field as well. So we patched up after that Brisbane incident,” Parthiv Patel said.

“Even after the IPL finished, I went to Australia with an emerging side. Hayden called me home, prepared chicken biryani and dal for me.”

Parthiv Patel has last played for India in 2018 against South Africa. So far, he has played 25 Tests, 38 ODIs and 2 T20Is for India.

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