In the mid-tier department, Cheteshwar Pujara and Ajinkya Rahane are expected to beat No. 3 and 4 respectively. But it is the following places that are creating all the heckling for India. With Vihari and Jadeja out, India could deploy Wriddiman Saha in the middle who can also don the gloves instead of Pant, if his elbow problem persists.

Top-notch drummers Mayank Agarwal and Prithvi Shaw, who have failed terribly in previous tests, could also be in middle order.

India’s First Order, however, remains intact, as the performance of workers Rohit Sharma and Shubman Gill has been highly commendable. On Friday, Rohit and Gill gave India their first opening stand in over 50 years in 14 rounds.

The visitors had struggled lately to find a solid first pair, but Rohit’s comeback combined with young Gill’s compound at bat made it possible.

Gabba’s test is due to begin on January 15. This means the likes of Ashwin and Pant have three days to be deemed fit for the fourth and final test against Australia in Brisbane.

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