Paine admits that Australia need Smith, Warner

01 January, 2019, 12:00 | Author: Judy Cobb
  • Pat Cummins frustrates India as Australia take 3rd Test to a 5th day

India's Ravindra Jadeja (C) celebrates with his teammates after dismissing Australia's captain Tim Paine on day four of the third test match between Australia and India at the MCG in Melbourne, Australia, December 29, 2018. "There are definitely factors and incentives attached to this particular series".

Ponting believes that Labuschangne will replace Finch in the playing XI for the fourth Test match in Sydney.

Fittingly it was the legendary Kapil Dev, who had then played a major role taking five wickets in defending a low total while it was young Bumrah with match figures of 9 for 86, who was the hero on what looked like a docile track. But with ball in hand, Jasprit Bumrah nearly single-handedly wrestled Australia out of the Test match as his 6-33 ensured Australia got no more than 151 in the first innings. Labuschagne, who played his only two Tests in the 1-0 series defeat to Pakistan in the United Arab Emirates in October, offers another slow bowling option with his legspin at the Sydney Cricket Ground, traditionally Australia's most spin-friendly wicket.

However, the legend still remains very much in India's plan for the 2019 World Cup and made a comeback in the T20I squad for the New Zealand series to get enough match practice behind his back before the marquee event.

Fifth-ranked Australia has added legspinner Marnus Labuschagne to its squad for the Sydney test.

On the other hand, former Australia cricketers have given their verdict on the Boxing Day Test with quite a few of them heaping praise on the Kohli-led visitng team. Cheteshwar Pujara's patient 106 included a 170-run stand with Kohli (82) for the third wicket. "The way he bowls is so much more hard and I think he realises that more than the batsmen and that's why he is so confident about his skill", said the India skipper, who is considered to be one of the best batsman in the world cricket.

Smith and Warner were both suspended for a year by Cricket Australia, with Cameron Bancroft ruled out for nine months, due to their involvement in the national team's ball-tampering scandal in South Africa in March.

It's the first time since 1991-92 that an Australian player has not scored a test century during the home summer before the January test in Sydney. So while at the moment it's challenging and everyone's frustrated, it is what it is. I just think plain and simply we were outplayed and India deserved to win this Test.

Tailender Cummins, who is rapidly proving himself to a very capable all-rounder, some even say a future Australia captain, had kept his side in the hunt with an impressive 61 not out on Saturday.

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