"2-1 is probably a pretty fair reflection of how we've played the series so far".
Usman Khawaja's century in Dubai remains the only Test hundred scored by any Australian in nearly a year, a horror slump that highlights how much the team relied on banned superstars Steve Smith and David Warner. Such was the competition between places that it was nearly impossible to rejig the playing XI of the first side.
Paine ruefully said: "If you took Pujara and Virat out of India's side I think you would have the same conversation".
After facing defeat in the Boxing Day Test in Melbourne and trailing 1-2 in the four match series against India, Shane Warne had heaped praise on Cummins and predicted him to be the future captain.
There were reports from India that Gavaskar had not been invited by Cricket Australia for the Test, but it's understood there was a formal approach from the hosts before a miscommunication between the parties.
Bumrah could adjust to conditions in South Africa, England and in Australia to return as the highest wicket-taker in 2018 with 48 wickets from 22 Tests. It is not clear whether they include an additional spinner in the form of Ravichandran Ashwin, if fully fit, or Kuldeep Yadav to befuddle the Australian batsmen struggling to find form. India, however, will have to go in with a different playing eleven for the New Year Test.
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Langer said cricket authorities were "in touch with the boys all the time".
"Try being a selector at the moment", Langer told reporters on Monday. "We've got to be careful not to reward poor performances but ... it's not as if the guys are absolutely banging the door down".
"Most of our batters knocking on the door are averaging in the 30s".
The batting doyen says he would open with Shaun Marsh and move captain Paine up to No.5, with Labuschagne and Mitchell Marsh to fill the spots at 6 and 7.
What I've seen in the last 12 months is the way he has matured in test cricket and the way that he is bowling so soon, so quickly in his test career, I think is a very scary sign for all the batsmen around the world. "It's something everyone is looking at".
Marnus Labuschange would also get a start.
Throwing the rookie all-rounder into the pressure of a series-decider could prove a big gamble.