India v Australia 4th Test

Source: Andres Leighton/
Shane Watson could return for Australia in the 4th Test. Source: Andres Leighton/
India  will head into the 4th and final Test against Australia  confident of securing a series whitewash having scored comfortable victories in Chennai, Hyderabad and Mohali. If the tourists didn’t have enough problems already, skipper Michael Clarke is in danger of missing the match after suffering a reoccurrence of the back injury that has plagued him over the past few years.

If Clarke is ruled out, Shane Watson is the man most likely to replace him as captain having returned from Australia after being suspended for the Mohali Test match alongside Usman Khawaja, James Pattinson and Mitchell Johnson. Just who makes way for the 30 year-old is another tricky decision for selectors given that both Phil Hughes and Steve Smith made runs when given a chance last week.

Brad Haddin will retain the wicket-keeping duties if Matthew Wade hasn’t sufficiently recovered from the ankle sprain that kept him out of the 3rd Test, while there is likely to be changes to the bowling attack. James Pattinson will be recalled after serving his one game ban and will come in for Mitchell Starc, who has returned home for an ankle operation. Spinners Nathan Lyon and Xavier Doherty have been largely ineffective in favourable conditions and it is unlikely Mickey Arthur will play them both again, giving Mitchell Johnson the opportunity to play just his fourth Test since 2011.

For the third time in as many matches, Murali Vijay will have a new partner at the top of the order for India, with Shikhar Dhawan – who scored 187 on debut - ruled out of the series finale. Suresh Raina has been drafted into the squad as his replacement but Ajinkya Rahane should make his Test debut as the only other specialist opener in the squad. Sachin Tendulkar is the only Indian batsman to have played in every match yet to score a ton this series and he will be determined to make a big score in what will be his last Test match against Australia.

India has a tremendous record at the Feroz Shah Kotla in Delhi, having won eight of their past nine Test matches at the ground. Australia held the hosts to draw  when the sides met here in 2008, but that is the only match to end in a stalemate at the Feroz Shah Kotla since 1986.

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