A bit shy of relief for India: Australian spearhead to miss 1st test of Border-Gavaskar Trophy due to fitness concerns
The biggest challenge for the Indian team in the World Test Championship final will take place when Australia tours India for the Border-Gavaskar Trophy. Both teams will play four games, and India needs to win the series at least by a 3-0 or 3-1 margin to clearly qualify.
However, it won't be easy, as Australia has been in terrific form and is coming off two consecutive test series wins over the West Indies and South Africa. They have five wins out of their last six games, along with a draw. Thus, it will be a big challenge for India.
Meanwhile, India is suffering from various injuries to its key players. Jasprit Bumrah, Ravindra Jadeja, and Mohammed Shami have been in rehab after their injuries, respectively. On the other hand, star wicketkeeper-batsman Rishabh Pant, who played a huge role in winning the last BGT trophy in 2021-22 in Australia, will not be available after suffering a car accident.
He needs at least 6 months to completely recover, which has made India's problem even bigger. However, for the visitors, the injury list is growing as their ace pacer Mitchell Starc, who showed some brilliant form recently, hasn't recovered till now and might miss the first test against India starting on February 9.
The left-arm pacer suffered an injury to his middle finger on his left hand during the Boxing Day Test against South Africa. That injury ruled him out of the third and final test of the series.
Although there is a difference of four days between the first and second test on February 17 at the Arun Jaitley Stadium in Delhi. In his latest interview, Starc said, "That's probably likely (I will miss the first Test). Hopefully I am there for the second Test if they want to play me. Maybe I can make some footmarks for Gazza (Nathan Lyon) or something. We'll see how the finger is."