Сricket

India ready for fortress Gabba, won’t rule out Bumrah

India have declared they are ready to handle the pace and bounce of a Gabba pitch but have refused to confirm whether injured fast bowler Jasprit Bumrah will miss the series-deciding clash against Australia, beginning on Friday.

Captain Ajinkya Rahane did not partake in the traditional pre-Test press conference on Thursday, the tourists instead sending out batting coach Vikram Rathour when senior coach Ravi Shastri was another option.

The tourists have a long injury list, with spinning all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja one confirmed omission from the drawn Sydney Test because of a fractured thumb.

India hasn’t confirmed if Jasprit Bumrah will miss the fourth Test. Credit:AP

Spearhead Bumrah had appeared set to miss because of an abdominal strain but Rathour did not confirm his absence, only claiming the "medical team is working with him".

"If he can play, he will play. If he can't, he won't," Rathour said.

The status of Ravichandran Ashwin, who has had a back issue, and Hanuma Vihari, who batted out the final day in Sydney despite a torn hamstring, also remains unclear. The tourists did not train on Thursday.

The Indians have not played a Test at fortress Gabba since 2014-15, when the home team won the second Test of that series by four wickets.

This time pressure from the Board of Control for Cricket in India contributed to the summer schedule being flipped, resulting in Brisbane, initially set host the first Test, now staging the last.

This has given the tourists more time to adjust to conditions that have troubled many a nation, where batsmen can be hurried into shots and fast bowlers seduced into pitching too short too often.

"On this tour, we have got a lot of time to prepare. We came early, we had a lot of practise sessions … this being a wicket where you will expect more bounce and pace, having played well, and having played well for so many days now, yes, the belief [is] there now that the boys will be able to handle it and they will handle it pretty well, I am sure," Rathour said.

If Bumrah does miss, India's back up quicks include Shardul Thakur, who has played one Test, and the uncapped Thangarasu Natarajan, who was included in the squad ahead of the Sydney Test.

India needs only to draw this Test to retain the Border-Gavaskar Trophy but Rathour said his side would play to win at a venue the home side has not been beaten at since 1988-89.

He dismissed any conjecture about Steve Smith’s role in scuffing the pitch in Sydney, declaring Rishabh Pant, who was batting at the time, "was not even aware that was done".

Most Viewed in Sport

Source: Read Full Article