Legendary Australia captain Ian Chappell has set out how skipper Tim Paine must attack the final two days of The Gabba Test as his troops make a desperate attempt to get their hands back on the Border-Gavaskar Trophy.
Australia will be looking to grow their first-innings lead of 54 when openers David Warner and Marcus Harris return to the crease at the beginning of day four.
The hosts’ hopes of a series victory nosedived as debutants Shardul Thakur and Washington Sundar today combined for 123 runs, India’s third-highest seventh-wicket partnership in Australia ever.
If Australia are to get their mitts back on the Border-Gavaskar Trophy for the first time since the 2014-15 Australian summer, Chappell said they must make rapid runs and ensure their bowlers are back in the middle midway through the final session of day four.
“I think Tim Paine has got to give himself 15-20 overs tomorrow night, so he’s got to hope like hell that they don’t have any delays with rain,” Chappell told Wide World of Sports.
“What Tim Paine has got to do is dangle the carrot. He’s got to risk losing to win the game. If they don’t win they don’t get the Border-Gavaskar Trophy, and if they don’t win that hurts their chances with the World Test Championship. So he’s got no choice but to risk losing. Then if he loses some overs or a lot of overs he’s still got to take that risk.”
India were the victims of one of Warner’s most damaging Test innings when the right-hander smashed 180 off 159 balls at the WACA in the Australian 2011-12 summer, a knock in which he struck a ton in just 69 balls.
Warner has made scores of just five, 13 and one since returning from a groin injury for the SCG Test, but Chappell says he’s a huge key in Australia’s pursuit of victory.
“The first thing is you’ve got to hope you get the 200 overs and you’ve got to base everything on getting the 200 overs left in the game,” Chappell said.
“If there are 200 overs left in the game Australia are in a strong position. Fifty-four in front, Warner is looking as good as he has in the series and if you get an hour or two of him you’re in a really good position to make a declaration.”
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