The Indian team, currently on a high after registering a morale-boosting win at the MCG in the Boxing-Day Test, will be looking to gain an unassailable lead in the 4-match Border-Gavaskar series. The 3rd Test match which happens to be the pink Test (new year Test) will be played at the Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG) from the 7th-11th January. The Indian team in a welcome departure from not revealing their team before the toss have stated their playing XI a day before the Test Match.
The Indian Team Playing XI for the 3rd Test match:
As was expected Rohit Sharma (test vice-captain) walks into the Indian team as the designated opener. There were speculations about who will be partnering with Sharma at the top and that question has been answered. Shubman Gill, who impressed one and all with his dazzling stroke play in his debut game last match will be partnering Sharma.
Mayank Agarwal may consider himself unlucky at missing out on the opener’s spot, but such is the competition in the Indian team that a player needs to be constantly on his toes. Hanuma Vihari, the middle-order batsman gets another opportunity to stamp his authority down under while India sticks to their combination of 5 bowlers. The workhorse Navdeep Saini replaces injured Umesh Yadav in the XI and the lanky pacer will be making a well-deserved debut at the SCG.
NEWS – #TeamIndia announce Playing XI for the 3rd Test against Australia at the SCG.
— BCCI (@BCCI) January 6, 2021
The Bowling department:
Mohammad Siraj, just a Test old, and Saini who will be making his debut leaves Indian pace bowling thin on experience with all the onus falling on pace spearhead, Jasprit Bumrah. India will be well served with the guile and experience of Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja. The spin twins will be relishing the opportunity to bowl on a slow turner like the SCG.
Rohit Sharma’s comeback:
While on the batting front, it will be the first real test of character for Rohit Sharma as an opener playing in the longest format of the game. Sharma has the experience and the skills required to come good against any bowling attack in the world and in any conditions. It is time his performances overseas reflect his potential. As former Indian cricketer VVS Laxman stated, if Rohit Sharma can see off the new ball, he could be in for a big hundred. The Indian fans will certainly be hoping for that. India have announced their team and thrown the gauntlet at Australia as they look to grab the Border-Gavaskar series once again down under.
India’s Playing XI vs Australia for 3rd Test: Shubman Gill, Rohit Sharma, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane, Hanuma Vihari, Rishabh Pant, Ravindra Jadeja, Ravichandran Ashwin, Navdeep Saini, Mohammed Siraj, Jasprit Bumrah