India will cross their fingers and hope to avoid any further injuries to their already depleted squad as the fourth and deciding Test in the Border/Gavaskar series gets underway.
The visitors waited until Friday morning to release their final line-up, as a lengthy injury list ballooned further.
'NEVER SEEN THAT': Big Bash fans stunned by rare rule drama
'RIDICULOUS': Cricket world erupts over 'farcical' scenes
With Virat Kohli (paternity leave), Mohammed Shami (arm), Umesh Yadav (calf), Ishant Sharma (side), Bhuvneshwar Kumar (thigh) and KL Rahul (wrist) already out, India have been forced into a further four changes for the series decider.
Jasprit Bumrah (abdominal), Ravichandran Ashwin (back spasm), Hanuma Vihari (hamstring) and Ravindra Jadeja (thumb) have all been ruled out of the side, with Mayank Agarwal, Shardul Thakur and debutants Thangarasu Natarajan and Washington Sundar stepping in to replace them.
It means Mohammed Siraj, who only made his debut at the MCG, will lead an incredibly inexperienced pace attack.
The absence of Bumrah and Ashwin, who was a leading contender for man-of-the-series honours and dug in with the bat to secure a draw at the SCG and set up a winner-takes-all Test at the Gabba, leaves a major void for the tourists.
"There was no other option. In the end it's all about opportunity for all those guys playing," stand-in skipper Ajinkya Rahane said of making so many changes.
Ravindra Jadeja (thumb) and Hanuma Vihari (hamstring) were also enforced omissions.
It has been an injury-cursed series for India.
Agarwal, Rishabh Pant (arm) and Cheteshwar Pujara (finger) are all pushing through the pain barrier in Brisbane.
The lengthy injury list prompted some astonished reactions from fans on social media.
I have never seen this kind of injury list, ever. @Mickeyarthurcr1 alluded to the effects of lockdown and @ashwinravi99 pointed it out too. He has a bad back, Bumrah is unlikely to play, Agarwal hurt...if India hadn't taken such a large contingent, wouldn't have had 11 left
— Harsha Bhogle (@bhogleharsha) January 12, 2021
No Virat Kohli.
No Jasprit Bumrah.
No Ravi Ashwin.
No Ishant Sharma.
No Mohammad Shami.
5 main players are not playing in the series decider against Australia in Australia.
What a disaster 😭😭😭😭..
— रोहित.विश्नोई (@The_Kafir_boy) January 14, 2021
Adding to the intrigue of this Test series! 4 changes for India. No place for Saha or Yadav. But debuts for T Natarajan and Sundar, Aus win and bat #AUSvIND
— Isa Guha (@isaguha) January 15, 2021
So no Bumrah and no Ashwin. Siraj and Saini accompanied by Natarajan, Shardul and Sundar. Good number of bowling options for India, but could we have thought of this bowling attack when this series began? NO WAY. Should be exciting!
— Rahul Pandey (@sportstoryguy) January 14, 2021
Saini- 1 test
Siraj- 2 tests
Shardhul- 1 test
Nattu- no experience
Kartik tyagi- no experience
When was the last time india played with least experienced fast bowling unit?
— Venkatesh (@Imvenkii91) January 12, 2021
Harris answers SOS for Test series decider
Australia are banking on Marcus Harris to help deliver victory in arguably their most important Test on home soil since Justin Langer became coach.
Langer's side have crushed Sri Lanka, Pakistan and New Zealand in home series while rising up the Test rankings after the Cape Town cheating scandal.
India, who outclassed an Australian side that sorely missed suspended superstars Steve Smith and David Warner in 2018-19, have provided stubborn resistance this summer.
The four-Test series is level at 1-1 after the SCG draw.
An Australian victory in Brisbane would be rewarded with the Border-Gavaskar trophy, which they haven't grasped since 2017, and top spot on the International Cricket Council rankings.
Will Pucovski's shoulder injury has plunged Harris into the pressure-laden contest that begins on Friday.
Harris, who was dumped after the 2019 Ashes, has waited 16 months for a Test recall.
The left-hander has watched selectors prefer Pucovski, David Warner, Joe Burns and Matthew Wade at the top of the order throughout the current series.
Click here to sign up to our newsletter for all the latest and breaking stories from Australia and around the world.