Will rain wash away hosts’ chances of Gabba victory?
Will rain wash away hosts’ chances of Gabba victory?

Will rain destroy Aussie hopes of series win?

Australia's hopes of unleashing a series-winning salvo heading into day four hinge not just on the bat of David Warner - but on the looming Brisbane weather that threatens to wash away the hosts' chances of victory.

While the Queensland capital is expected to reach a balmy 29 degrees Celsius on Monday, the worry is the 25mm of predicted rain that could dump on the Gabba, stopping play and severely hindering Australia's odds of regaining the Border-Gavaskar Trophy.

Warner almost needs to pretend the red ball is white when Australia's most important home innings in many years continues.

 

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Almost. It is not quite time to go hell-for-leather, but Australia's brains trust would've been frantically refreshing the weather radar last night with beads of sweat forming at the forecast.

There are a maximum of 196 overs left in the match (98 overs each day).

But with 60 per cent chance of rain forecast for Monday and then showers on Tuesday (80 per cent chance of rain) it would be foolish to bank on that full allotment.

Alarmingly, a thunderstorm is expected on Tuesday afternoon - and so if Australia hasn't bowled India out by lunchtime tomorrow there is every chance India will be dancing in the rain.

 

Rain is threatening to derail day four of the Test. Picture: BOM
Rain is threatening to derail day four of the Test. Picture: BOM

A draw would see the visitors retain the trophy with the series tied at 1-1, having defeated Australia 2-1 two years ago.

But with all three results at the Gabba still in play, Warner (20 not-out off 22) the destroyer can quickly move this match forward and out of India's reach.

That would provide some comfort for coach Justin Langer, given a shock loss to India coupled with a cancelled Test series against South Africa would drop Australia below New Zealand in the race to reach the World Test Championship.

But more pressingly, Warner needs to flick through the gears so that captain Tim Paine can set an aggressive declaration.

And when it is Australia's time to bowl, can Nathan Lyon put a poor series behind him to spin his country to victory?

While Paine would probably want the new ball in Patrick Cummins and Mitchell's Starc's hand for a fiery spell late on Monday, the GOAT has a huge role to play thereafter despite a so far forgettable series.

Lyon has the chance to snare an historic triple treat as he is three wickets away from his 400th wicket in his 100th Test.

 

But it has been extremely hard work for him all summer as it was again at the Gabba on Sunday where he returned 1-65 from 28 overs, frustrated again by India's rhythm and poise against him.

He started the series with 390 wickets and has taken seven at a cost of 58 since then.

It's been a grind, with Cricviz saying he has got less drift than any series in five years.

Five dropped catches off his bowling have not helped, but India have played him well.

They know Lyon loves to settle on a rigid line and length so they have used their feet to attack him to make sure he has to adjust.

 

 

 

They also have a game plan to keep him bowling and bowling to reduce the snap he puts on the ball.

Statistics have revealed Australia's five-wicket performer Josh Hazlewood was rewarded for being the only Australia fast man to regularly pitch the ball up.

With the wicket playing placidly, Australia's quicks bowled truckloads of short balls to the iron-willed Washington Sundar (62) and Shardul Thackur (67) who somehow weathered the storm.

Originally published as Will rain destroy Aussie hopes of series win?


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