A record crowd is about to fill the largest cricket stadium on a day unlike any other in the history of the sport.
While Australia and India’s fourth test is sure to be interesting, the opening day is all about a ceremony featuring Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Anthony Albanese.
The Australians have the opportunity to win the Border-Gavascar trophy in the next five days and leave India with a highly commendable 2-2 draw.
But Rohit Sharma’s team will suffer after being defeated in a rare home defeat in Indore.
Follow live with New Corp cricket writer Ben Horne below.
16:46 LABUSCHAGNE LEAVES EARLY TO BRING SMITH TO THE WAREHOUSE
Marnus Labouchagne is Australia’s top scorer in the series but failed to make it in the first innings of the fourth Test.
The no. 3 Australian struck, colliding with Indian seamstress Mohammed Shami, who struggled with some wild innings early but hit back with a big wicket.
Australia are still in a strong position at 2-73 but need another big partnership on what looks like a scoring track.
16:10 HEAD DID NOT MAKE MOST EARLY LIFE
Travis Head is the first person to make it to Australia in the fourth Test, missing out on a great opportunity to score big in Ahmedabad.
Head had to be 7 behind and was able to add 25 to his tally before he ended up missing and leaving for 32 of 44 balls.
But the damage to India could be much greater.
Head smashed seven milestones in his first cameo, pushing Australia to 50 runs after just 13 overs, and the visitors are now 1-62 after 16 overs.
In the head tried to attack Ravi Ashwin but didn’t get many hits and Ravi Jadeja had a solid pair of hands to catch the ball.
The wicket was desperately needed for India after goaltender KS Bharat was an absolute shock when earlier in the day, as the ball wobbled, he dropped a regulation nickname suggested by Head at Umesh Yadav’s bowling alley.
15:35 HEAD GIVES LIFE TO 7 THANKS TO A SHOCKING ADDITION
India’s runaway start in the fourth Test turned even worse, with wicket-keeper KS Bharat dropping Travis Head on a slip that is not often seen at Test level.
Head gave a normative hit to Umesh Yadav’s bowling and was due to go out for 7, but Bharat failed to catch a straight tackle that hit him at standard height.
Bharat was scattered all over the hall in the first few overs thanks to some wild deliveries from Mohammed Shami, but he couldn’t get a babysitter.
The ball barely hit Bharat’s gloves and crashed into his chest.
The head is not the player you want to give life to when Australia progresses to 0-26.
15:19 MOHAMMED SHAMI HAS A “HARMISON” MOMENT TO START THE TEST
It was the shades of Steve Harmison in Ahmedabad when Mohammed Shami scored a stunning shot from the first ball of the fourth test.
Shami barely landed on the field before Virat Kohli intercepted the ball on his second miss.
Later in the same over, Shami landed another wide serve that went off the keeper so hard that it went four.
Australia went up to 0-10 in the first over and more byes from Shami in the third over took Australia to 0-15 after Steve Smith won the toss to bat first.
Eight out of 15 runs were bye.
The great Indian Sunil Gavaskar was highly critical of Shami for not getting it right from the first pitch, but more so of the Indian breeders who gave the fast bowler a rest for the third Test and disrupted his natural rhythm.
14:36 AUSTRALIA WINS BY DROT
Commentators tip batting paradise in the fourth Test in Ahmedabad but warned that Steve Smith’s men are facing a flurry of flurries in the first session.
Australia won the toss and went to bat – a huge advantage in Indian conditions – but not necessarily a decisive result, as the first three tests showed.
The team that lost the toss has won all three Tests so far, but Fox Sports pundits Brad Huddin and Mark Waugh think the field looks like it could be a good wicket.
However, there is a feeling that Indian seamstresses Mohammed Shami and Umesh Yadav could be many on the first morning.
Players were banned from warming up on the pitch due to a political rally involving Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese.
Australia named the enduring side of the team that won the third Test, with Travis Head and Usman Khawaja opening the game.
India made one substitution with Shami replacing Mohammad Siraj.
CARGO PROGRAM IS PROHIBITED BECAUSE A PM VISIT ATTRACTS ATTENTION
Peter Lalor in India
Huge crowds gathered at the even larger Narendra Modi Stadium to take part in the ultimate test match and a political show the likes of which cricket has never seen.
Billboards depict his face at Ahmedabad’s main intersections, but the 60-minute spectacle to welcome Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese at Thursday morning’s cricket game is one worth watching.
Details seen by News Corp reveal a mini-Olympic opening ceremony, with the Australian prime minister attending the game with his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi at a huge venue named after the Hindu leader.
Albanese and Modi will take part in the lap of honor standing in an open top car and take part in an hour-long ceremony leading up to the first ball.
“Felicitations” features a performance by American Indian singer Falguni Shah, 2022 Grammy Award winner.
Modi and Albanese will give captains Rohit Sharma and Steve Smith special trial caps before the draw and will then be presented to the players.
Last week, News Corp reported that Indian authorities had allocated 85,000 tickets for “local families and students” on the first day at the 132,000-seat stadium.
Tickets for visiting Australian fans were only released after pre-negotiations following the announcement.
Albanese is in India and is in high-level trade talks, but the Indian prime minister turned the visit to his hometown into a celebration of the 75th anniversary of the two countries’ friendship in cricket.
The pair will inaugurate the Friendship Hall of Fame as part of a carefully planned event while the draw and interviews with the captains take place on the field.
Albanese and Modi will both be on the field to play their national anthems before the start of the game.
The road to the huge stadium is lined with images of both leaders, and at the end of the Adani stand there is a huge billboard with their faces.
The security around the stadium is tight but not funny.
The Aussies left the team’s hotel at 7am and were inspecting the field when the sun was low.
Given the choice between a red and black clay field, the home team opted for the latter, which is said to bind less and provide additional benefits to their lures. However, the move backfired in Indore, where veteran Nathan Lyon with young couple Matthew Koenemann and Todd Murphy more than matched them. You also have to give credit to the batters, especially Usman Khawaja who started the game with 60.
Lyon took 11 wickets in the game and was voted man of the match. A 2-1 series and a win here would be a huge achievement for the Australians.
The defeat of India in India was only the third defeat from visitors in the last 10 years.
BANNING’S SECRET THAT PREPARED MARNUS FOR INDIA
No matter what style of cricket on the field thrown to Australia in AhmedabadMarnus Labuschagne knows this… he won at home.
It was a black rug he bought from Bannings and littered it with random aluminum sheets.
He used it in his backyard and hallway to prepare for last year’s tour of Pakistan and has used similar ones ever since.
Balls fly all over the place at crazy angles on Marnus’ homemade monsters. but they have a wider purpose than the entertainment of boys.
With one Test to play, Labouchagne quietly gnawed, prodded and nodded his way to the top of the Australian averages on a journey without paddling down the big opportunities he obviously craves.
The numbers aren’t breathtaking – 178 goes to 35, but in a series dominated by bowlers, you could argue that 35 is more like 50, so that’s comparatively strong.
Labushan has scored more runs in India than any other Australian (Ousmane Khawaja is the next best player with 153), faced more balls (375) and scored more fours (27) than any player on either side.
He is not yet half a century old (49 is his best), but his passion for quirky deck cricket is such that he refuses a challenge rather than being intimidated by it, and benefits from the crazy challenges he faces when he takes on themselves to their comrades. at his Bannings barns at home.
Labushan once said that if a team scores over 17 in backyard cricket, the wicket is too flat.
“Of course it helps,” Labouchagne told News Corp earlier this season of playing treacherous homemade decks.
“I play a lot of cricket in my backyard with my friends, but when I play, I’m learning. I don’t just sit around hitting balls and playing.
“You are always growing. There are definitely times when these skills translate into Test cricket.
“These skills are growing. They compile into something. You don’t know when it will pay off.”
Another South African batsman, Kepler Wessels, found the same thing when he deliberately strewed practice nets in the Brisbane valleys with granite before playing for Queensland or Australia.
The Border-Gavascar trophy may be gone by now, but Australia has something to play for in the last Test.
An Australian victory and a 2-2 result would have been an exceptional outcome for a team in which four players, including the captain, have returned home due to injury, poor form or personal reasons.
There are times when Australia seems like a moon-trip away from winning the series in India, and at other times it’s at arm’s length.
Australia were poised to seriously threaten India in the second Test in Delhi before losing the session. They were two good hours away from potentially reaching the series 2-1.
Australia’s narrow loss to India in the 2001 series paved the way for Australia’s famous victory in 2004.
The lessons of this series could also go a long way if Australia is willing to learn from them.
Originally published as Australia vs India Test 4 Live Stream, Results, Updates, Final Teams & Start Time