David Warner has a slumped to a new career low after the Aussie batsman's poor run of form continued in the fourth and final Test against India at the Gabba.
Warner missed the first two Tests because of a groin injury but came back into the side for the drawn match at the SCG.
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A mainstay of Australia's top order, Warner would have been hopping to find some form after managing just five and 13 runs in his two innings in Sydney.
However, the left-handed batsman's summer to forget took another ugly turn early in the first session at the Gabba, against a severely depleted Indian team.
With two debutants joining an inexperienced Indian bowling attack, it was paceman Mohammed Siraj that got the breakthrough for the visitors in just the first over.
Siraj enticed Warner to play at a delivery outside the off stump, with India’s Rohit Sharma taking a superb catch in the slips to remove the Aussie batsman for just one run.
Incredibly, it saw Warner set an unwanted record with his last three innings producing just 19 runs - the worst run on home soil in his entire career.
"Just to add weight to the enormity of David Warner being dismissed in that opening over, in three innings he's had in this Test series, he's scored 5, 13 and 1," Aussie great Adam Gilchrist said on Fox Cricket.
"That's his worst ever three consecutive innings in Australia.
"It's the end of the series, but Warner has just come back from injury. But he averages 68 on this ground before today.
"So that's a wonderful start for India, getting rid of such a dangerous player."
Warner has long been an established member of Australia's Test XI, but the batsman's worrying form slump has sparked plenty of debate on social media about whether he's in danger of being dropped.
David Warner has scored 5, 13 & 1 in this series.
That's his worst three consecutive Test scores in Australia since his debut. #AUSvIND
— bet365_aus (@bet365_aus) January 15, 2021
So when are people going to start the David Warner and form conversations? Seems others have copped it for less?#AUSvIND
— Harpy (@harpyd04) January 15, 2021
How soon before Warner will be dropped from Aus test team?
— 15Degrees (@desigiri82) January 15, 2021
What happened to David Warner? A shadow of himself after returning from injury. #AUSvIND
— Dennis Ethan (@dens_Ethan) January 15, 2021
David Warner is done
— Mark (@jennings_182) January 15, 2021
David Warner. Sigh.
— Simon Goodman (@simong0808) January 15, 2021
David Warner may be past his use by date here #AUSvIND
— Jack Carroll (@Jack_Carroll96) January 15, 2021
@gilly381 really, Matty wade is the one under pressure? Why the heck is David warner in the side? It's an automatic wicket at the moment. He is clearly not in form, mate.
— hussain fadwani (@HFadwani) January 15, 2021
The Aussie selectors will have plenty to think about after Warner's opening partner Marcus Harris also failed to impress, after being given another opportunity at the top of the order in the place of injured Will Pucovski.
Harris fell for just five runs after chipping a ball to Washington Sundar on the on-side to give Shardul Thakur his first wicket in Test cricket.
Lucky Labuschagne steadies ship for Aussies
Marnus Labuschagne rode his luck to lift Australia to 3-154 at tea on day one of the series-deciding fourth Test.
Labuschagne went into the final session on 73 runs, having been dropped twice while pursuing his first century of the series.
Matthew Wade enjoyed a promising start to his knock and was was unbeaten on 27 after the second session.
India were forced to name their most inexperienced Test attack since 1946 after spearhead Jasprit Bumrah (abdominal) and offspinner Ravichandran Ashwin (back) both failed fitness tests.
The tourists' injury crisis became even more bleak during Friday's post-lunch session, when Navdeep Saini limped off during his eighth over after appearing to tweak a groin muscle.
But India, as they have done throughout a four-Test series locked at 1-1, showed plenty of character.
Following the wickets of Warner and Harris, Steve Smith became offspinning allrounder Sundar's maiden Test scalp.
Sundar just took first wicket of his test career‼️ Oh and that wicket was Steve Smith 👏
📺 Watch #AUSvIND on Fox Cricket or Kayo: https://t.co/mRZzUkM4Eg
📝Live blog: https://t.co/9wmr7KvcFy
📱Match Centre: https://t.co/ApeG4HBAF0 pic.twitter.com/AVqHTN40mV
— Fox Cricket (@FoxCricket) January 15, 2021
The hosts, having opted to bat first on a pitch that Tim Paine noted would be a "pretty good batting wicket for the first few days", could easily have been in even more trouble.
Ajinkya Rahane grassed a regulation chance at gully, offered by Labuschagne on 37.
Cheteshwar Pujara then failed to reel in a tough slips catch, reprieving Labuschagne on 48.
The leading run-scorer of the four-Test series brought up his half-century in 145 balls, barely acknowledging the milestone as he sought to compile an imposing first-innings total.
An all-run four in the first over after lunch signalled the intent of Labuschagne and Smith.
The master and apprentice, fresh from sharing 100-run and 103-run partnerships in the drawn third Test, picked up where they left off in Sydney.
But Smith, who otherwise scored freely and looked fluent at the crease, picked out Rohit Sharma at short midwicket and was caught.
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