CRICKET: Former Australian Test captain Ian Chappell fears quick Pat Cummins has bowled for the final time this series.
Chappell said it appears skipper Steve Smith gambled by keeping Cummins in the attack during India's marathon 210 over-innings of 9/603 knowing it would increase the risk that the strike bowler would not be available for the final Test of the series.
With Australia facing a daunting task of trying to survive on day five, Chappell says it's a call that may not leave Australia with any happy returns.
Chappell told Cricinfo Cummins' lack of red-ball cricket preparation meant he was not ready for the trials of back-to-back Tests.
"That doesn't get you ready for Test cricket,” he said of Cummins' one Sheffield Shield appearance before his Test recall.
"My fear is he's worked so damn hard in this game and it may well be that Steve Smith was thinking, 'All right I'll keep pushing him and pushing him and pushing him in an attempt to win this test match. If we win this one then we'll worry about the fourth one later on'.
"The big question is do you risk Pat Cummins in that next Test Match?
"Steve Smith is definitely more comfortable using his quickies than his spinners.
"Sure, he used his spinners a helluva lot, but you can see why he wants that third allrounder being a pace bowler.
"I'm sure if he'd had Mitch Marsh or Marcus Stoinis in that side that they would have got a lot more overs.”
Cummins was forced to bowl 39 overs during India's first innings and finished with 4/106.
Chappell said India would force a result on day five, led by spinner Ravi Jadeja.
"I really don't like their chances of surviving with only eight wickets in hand now,” he said of Australia's batting order.
"The point was made during commentary about how many left-handers in the Australian side. I think Jadeja is going to be a nightmare for the left-handers. So I see India being 2-1 up after the fifth day.”