India has lost 4 of the 5 tests it played at Gabba. On the first thought pitch appears to be devilish for Indians. But read the summary and scorecards of the last 5 test matches that India has played at Brisbane since 1947 against the strongest Australian teams. The message becomes clear, if the team’s batsmen hold forte and team goes with a proper plan, the Indian team does not lose. That is what happened in 2003 when India earned its only draw. Indian bowlers have done excellent job here. But batsmen have failed continuously. Check India’s performance in last 5 tests at Gabba.
Some of them it has lost by huge margins. But, it has been more about batting failure. Bowlers have done extremely well. But batsmen have fallen short always barring 2003. While the bowlers have not allowed Australia, including Don Bradman’s 1947 team and Waugh’s 2003 team to score 400 runs and have bowled them out on 5 occasions, the batsmen have failed to hold fort and were bowled out on 9 occasions. In 2003, when Aakash Chopra and Fab Five played, India earned its first draw. The message is clear.
A test match may not be won by taking 20 wickets, but it can be certainly lost by giving away 20 wickets. So, dear Indian batsmen apply yourselves and at least earn a draw. Bowlers can’t win the matches alone.
When Ganguly achieved the feat of getting a draw for India at Gabba, bowling was not again exceptional. It was just good enough to keep Australian strong batting line up below 400 runs.
The ace factor was Aakash Chopra who was assigned the job to hold one end while the Sehwag and Fab 4 can play their game. Aakash Chopra completed the assigned job not only at Gabba but throughout the series very effectively. Unfortunately, his same job was later not considered good enough for the team as India returned from Australia with a surprising respectable result.
Dhoni needs to find his own aces too. At Adelaide, his batsmen have showed the capability of not only coping up but taking the attack to Aussies also. If the major failures of the bunch Rohit Sharma and Saha are kept out, does Dhoni have alternatives available who can hold on against pace and bouncers!!
Saha did nothing to demand his position for Gabba test. He will be automatically exit as Dhoni returns. But, Rohit Sharma is an interesting case. Still, the way he played in the first test that will be the first wrong decision. He is very talented. But, the way he batted in the first test his talent was nowhere visible. He appeared clueless.
A clueless player should not be on the flight abroad but should be at home to hone skills. The selection of bowlers would be interesting. Karn Sharma has a case of replacement as Ashwin and Jadeja both can bowl better and bat too.
Yet, the bowling department does not look that complete. Umesh Yadav and Aaron need a better look considering the Gabba pitch.
For that matter even Australian batsmen are not that experienced or dangerous as a team as compared to the team of 2003 that played a draw against India under Steve Waugh. So, Indian bowlers hold the key, but as usual if the batsmen perform India will not be defeated at least.
If the bowlers do something exceptional, Gabba will see the first Indian win. Dhoni needs it badly to prove himself as a Test captain. India is waiting anyways for an Away victory since ages.