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Australian Cricket: Aussies out to draw the series

Australia head into the fourth Test against India with a chance of drawing the series after pulling off a surprise win in the third Test.

The Aussies were completely outplayed in the opening two Tests with India taking the Border-Gavaskar Trophy. 

Coach Andrew Macdonald and his players came in for heavy criticism after going 2-0 down but they responded in perfect fashion by winning the third Test by an impressive nine wickets.

The win also means that Australia have booked their place in the ICC World Test Championship, which will take place in England in June. However that match can wait and for now all the focus is on the fourth Test when Australia will look to win it and draw the series at 2-2.

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There is sure to be a response from India. Their pride will have taken a hammering in the third Test after they were dismissed easily in both innings.

They are sure to come out firing. They made 109 and 163 respectively and that is just not good enough by their exceptionally high standards.

But what it does mean is it's all to play for in this fourth and final Test. With that in mind let's take a closer look at the latest team news with the action on Thursday fast approaching.

What:India v Australia
Where:Narendra Modi Stadium, Ahmedabad
When:9th to 13th March 2023
How to watch:Kayo Sports
Odds:India 1.53, Draw 7.50, Australia 3.75

Smith set to remain as captain

Steve Smith was captain of the side that won the second Test in Indore as Pat Cummins had returned to Australia to be close to his mother who in in palliative care. Cummins has confirmed he will remain in Australia and not return to India for the fourth and final Test, meaning Smith will skipper the side once again.

Smith would not have been overly happy with his performance with the bat as he managed 26 runs in the first innings. However he was the third top scorer in that innings and did not need to bat in the second. He is priced at 9.50 to be the Player of the Match and will be keen to end the series on a high.

More important than his own performance in Indore was the performance of the Australian side and he will have been delighted to lead them to victory. Winning a Test match in India is always very difficult so it was a big achievement. Now they have to try and win two.

Same again for the Aussies

Australia were forced into a string of changes for the third Test with Cummins and David Warner among the players to be missing from the side. However they were not missed as Australia pulled off a huge win. Now the same players will get the chance to do the same again.

The spinners were the stars of the show for Australia with Matthew Kuhnemann taking five wickets in the first innings and six in total in the match. Nathan Lyon took over in the second innings with an amazing eight-wicket haul.

Those two along with Todd Murphy will spearhead the attack as Australia go with three spinners. Lyon can be backed at 4.75 to be the top first innings bowler.

Travis Head and Usman Khawaja will again open the batting. The latter top-scored with 60 runs in the first innings, while Head did the same with 49 in the second innings as Australia chased down 76 runs with ease. 

Khawaja can be backed at 8.50 to be the top first innings batter in the fourth Test.

India to make changes

Despite having the Border-Gavaskar Trophy wrapped up, India came in for some heavy criticism following their defeat in the third Test.

Expectations are that high in India it comes as no real surprise. It is also no surprise that a couple of changes will be made to the starting line-up.

They have not been confirmed as yet with the match only getting underway on Thursday, however it has been suggested Mohammed Shami, who has been rested for the last two games could come in to replace Mohammed Siraj.

Shami impressed with seven wickets in the first two Tests and now looks set to come back in following a well-deserved break. 

Meanwhile it looks as though KS Bahart could also make-way with Ishan Kishan set to come into the side.

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