Embattled Australia, down 2-0 in the four-Test series, are banking on their bowling specialists in a bid to salvage pride in the third Test of the Border-Gavaskar Trophy. They will have exactly four days to pick up their pieces and give confident India a run for their money after Day 1 of the Mohali Test was lost to the elements on Thursday.
The first day was washed out after overnight rains left the outfield wet. More rains on Thursday meant 90 overs were completely lost. The forecast for the remaining days is better although the weatherman has predicted bouts of rain on Friday. To make up for lost play, proceedings will start 30 minutes early (at 9 AM) on each of the remaining days. The toss at 8.30 AM will be crucial, especially for the Australians, who have packed five specialist bowlers, including two genuine spinners and a leg-spinning all-rounder in Steven Smith.
Traditionally Mohali has been a fair pitch that has had a bit for both quick bowlers and batsmen. But if the Aussie XI is any indication, spin will once again be a decisive factor. Off-spinner Nathan Lyon, who missed the second Test at Hyderabad, has been recalled and he will pair up with left-arm spinner Xavier Doherty. Smith will surely be the third option for Michael Clarke.