Team India faced a drubbing in the third Test of the Border-Gavaskar Trophy against Australia earlier this week.
On a pitch that assisted spinners significantly, India crashed to 109 and 163 in two innings, with Australia chasing down a paltry 75-run target with nine wickets to spare.
The win secured Australia a place in the World Test Championship final.
Hurt by this, the Indian team management might go back to the combination that won them the first two Tests of the series.
A spot in the WTC Final is at stake and India don’t want to take any chances.
As a result, India’s star pacer Mohammad Shami might walk back into the squad.
Shami was rested as part of the workload management for the third Test with Umesh Yadav taking his place in the XI.
Even though Umesh did take three wickets in the first innings and bowled commendably, India are set to bring Shami back in the lineup for the Ahmedabad Test.
The Indian team management, in consultation with its medical staff, had decided to space out the pace bowlers, who are going to play the IPL and are in the ODI World Cup plans.
Hence Shami, who had played the first two Tests and is also a part of the ODI squad, was rested for the third game.
In his place, Umesh Yadav was drafted in as the second pacer after Mohammed Siraj.
However, Siraj bowled only 24 overs in the first three games for one wicket. Hence, Umesh, with his better show in Indore, stands a good chance to share the new ball with Shami in Ahmedabad.
At the same time, Siraj is likely to feature in the three-match ODI series against Australia that takes place between March 17-22.
Shami, who has picked up seven scalps in the series, could be crucial to India’s plans on a dry Motera surface that might be conducive for reverse swing.
India are currently leading the series 2-1 but need to win the last game in order to qualify for the World Test Championship final.
Also, Ishan Kishan might get a debut Test cap in the fourth Test. KS Bharat hasn’t done well and therefore the team can look to replace him with Kishan.
The team composition will also depend on the kind of pitch being prepared.
Interestingly, when Rohit Sharma was asked if a green surface could be dished up in Ahmedabad, he replied “There is definitely a possibility of that. We have already spoken about it.”
“There is a lot of time to think about the final, but right now it is very important for us to focus on this one and see how we can turn it around and win this game as well because in the last game, we were put under pressure for sure, we can expect the same here as well, so we need to be ready for that.” the Indian skipper said.
On the Australian side, Pat Cummins is unlikely to return for the fourth and final Test of the Border-Gavaskar series in India.
The Australian Test captain returned home ahead of the third Test against India to be with his ill mother, who is in a critical condition.
This means stand-in skipper Steve Smith will continue in the role, having led Australia to a victory on the crumbling Indore pitch.
The game, which was originally supposed to be played in Dharamsala, was moved to Ahmedabad as the recently relaid ground was not ready for use by the time the Test started on March 1.