While the pundits are predicting another Australia win at the Gabba, the visitors' arsenal can't be ignored
Brisbane: It is no secret Indian bowlers need some juice in the pitch to take wickets. India's most cherished wins outside Asia have come on pitches that have aided seam bowling and when overhead conditions have been in their favour.
Ishant Sharma in full cry during the opening Test at Adelaide last week. Pic/Getty Images
The Gabba pitch, despite the constant rolling, will present the Indian bowlers an opportunity to test the relatively inexperienced Australian batting line-up.
Apart from David Warner and newly appointed captain, Steve Smith, the other Australian batsmen are either relatively raw or out of form. Warner and Smith have scored eight of the last 12 hundreds for Australia and the pair has been driving force since start of the year.
If the Indian bowlers can manage to dismiss Warner early, it will put the Australian top order under pressure. Warner has been in the form of his life having only failed to cross 25 on once occasion in the past 11 innings.
It has allowed Australia to get off to a flying start, but if India can persist with the same length as the opening half an hour in Adelaide in Brisbane, there is a fair chance Warner can be nicked out.
Chris Rogers at 37 has the vultures circling and the Gabba has been unkind to Shane Watson. The Australian No 3 has failed to cross 50 at this ground and has a poor average of 18.14.
Not rock solid
The Marsh brothers are a rare commodity. Shaun on his day is in a different league, but has the tendency to be dismissed for single digit scores more often that anyone in the Australian top six. Mitchell is still finding his feet and since his heroics last year, Haddin's form has dipped rapidly.
Add to it, Australia has a debutant Test bowler, Josh Hazelwood and Mitchell Starc. Both are attacking bowlers and can be either extraordinary brilliant or leak runs.
The Test match presents a small opening and if the young Indian batsmen can bat in the same manner as they did in Johannesburg, almost one year ago, the Test might not be as one-sided as many predict.
Australia's one-drop batsman Shane Watson's Test average at the Gabba in Brisbane
The number of Mitchells in the Australian team for today's Test in Brisbane — Johnson, Marsh and Starc