Australian cricket teams are used to winning and draws rarely cut it in the demanding eyes of their fans.
Particularly on home soil and particularly when they start a day with a big lead and just eight wickets to take against a severely wounded opposition.
So a day or two of navel gazing and hand wringing is fair, after Australia spent a day in the field and took just three wickets in India’s stirring SCG draw.
But ignore all the kneejerk overreactions.
Mark Taylor has seen it all and usually sees it pretty clearly.
The Aussie Test great would play the same XI in Brisbane and he is very confident that team will win.
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“Fitness permitting I would be,” Taylor told Wide World of Sports.
“Australia had the best of that Test match, a good bounce back after a disappointment in Melbourne.
“I don’t see a lot of problems there.”
Taylor’s biggest concern is the fitness of opening batsman Will Pucovski (shoulder) and David Warner (groin).
There isn’t much behind them and so the absence of either on Friday would bite. Marcus Harris has been named as the replacement opener, if needed.
But that injury list is nothing compared to that of India.
Let’s hope coach Ravi Shastri is rolling his arm over in his hotel room because the tourists are dropping like flies.
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Already without new dad Virat Kohli, Mohammed Shami, Ishant Sharma, Umesh Yadav and KL Rahul, India look set to be without both Ravindra Jadeja and Hanuma Vihari at the Gabba.
Triple threat all-rounder Jadeja has already been ruled out with a dislocated thumb, while the stoic Vihari will surely join him on the sidelines after saving the Test on painkillers for his pulled hammy.
“They’re going to be without Jadeja, I can’t see how Vihari can play so they’ve got to find a No.5 and an all-rounder option,” Taylor said.
“Ravindra Jadeja has been fantastic in the two Tests he’s played.
“He’s made more than useful runs in both games, brilliant bits of fielding and picked up some handy wickets as well.
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“His all-round performance is going to be a huge loss for India, for sure.
“They’ll find it hard to replace him at that No.7 position.
“But I look at this Indian side and they are a resilient bunch.
“They proved that at the MCG when they fought back after the disappointments of Adelaide, with no Kohli.
“And they fought back again in Sydney.
“You thought they’d eventually roll over somewhere and Australia would go bang, bang, bang and win the Test match.
“But this Indian side has a lot of belief.
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“They’ve probably got more concerns around their side than Australia has but there is nothing wrong with their team ethos.
“They’re in good shape in that regard.”
And then of course there’s the venue.
Australia hasn’t lost a Test at The Gabba since being rolled by the West Indies in 1988.
Taylor made his Test debut in that series and says: “Both teams will be very aware of the ‘Gabba-toir’ as everyone calls it. It is certainly a fortress.”
The respected former captain also had few issues with Tim Paine’s captaincy on day five at the SCG.
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Shane Warne said Australia were “panicking” with their field settings to the explosive Rishabh Pant but Taylor saw things differently.
“I wouldn’t be too critical,” Taylor said.
“You could say he could have tried (Marnus) Labuschagne more but that’s a throwaway line.
“He moved (Nathan) Lyon around, tried different things – it was just one of those days where chances didn’t stick and if they had, Australia would have won comfortably.
“Sometimes you have to manufacture a wicket and Australia couldn’t do that today but it was mainly because they dropped catches.
“Tim and Sean Abbott, a tough one at square leg, but you hang on to two of those four chances and you’re a good chance of winning the game.”
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