Injury-hit India had to hand out two Test debuts on the morning of day one in Brisbane, with T Natarajan and Washington Sundar

Australian captain Tim Paine won the toss and chose to bat in the series-deciding fourth Test against an injury-depleted India at the Gabba on Friday.

Brisbane Test, day one blog

The series is tied at 1-1, with Australia winning in Adelaide and India bouncing back to win the Boxing Day Test in Melbourne before a tense draw in Sydney.

“It’s a very good toss to win,” Paine said.

“(The wicket) looks a fair bit harder than it normally starts and there’s a crack straight down the middle.”

The visitors have been rocked by injury after the third Test in Sydney and are missing four frontline players in Brisbane.

Pace spearhead Jasprit Bumrah (abdomen), off-spinner Ashwin Ravichandran (back), batsman Hanuma Vihari (hamstring) and all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja (broken thumb) are all out of the Test.

T Natarajan and Washington Sundar will make their debuts while there are also recalls for Mayank Agarwal and Shardul Thakur.

Captain Ajinkya Rahane said the injuries gave chances to some of the squad members.

“We had to make changes, but it’s an opportunity for others,” he said.

“We are looking forward to start well. Both the debutants play the shorter formats – I just want them to enjoy the game.

“This is a big rivalry for us. We don’t want to think too far ahead, just want to start well.”

On a fine day with clear skies, the hosts have made one enforced change, with Marcus Harris recalled to open the innings alongside David Warner following a shoulder injury to Will Pucovski.

Up to 14,000 spectators will be allowed into the Gabba – one-quarter capacity – under strict social-distancing protocols as the city battles a coronavirus outbreak.

(With AFP inputs)

Australia: David Warner, Marcus Harris, Marnus Labuschagne, Steve Smith, Matthew Wade, Cameron Green, Tim Paine (capt), Pat Cummins, Mitchell Starc, Nathan Lyon, Josh Hazlewood

India: Rohit Sharma, Shubman Gill, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane (capt), Mayank Agarwal, Rishabh Pant, Washington Sundar, Shardul Thakur, Navdeep Saini, Mohammad Siraj, T Natarajan.

Umpires: Bruce Oxenford (AUS), Paul Wilson (AUS)

TV umpire: Paul Reiffel (AUS)

Reserve umpire: Claire Polosak (AUS)

Match referee: David Boon (AUS)