Rohit returns as India play Australia at SCG
A victory in the third Test match will ensure the visitors retain the Border-Gavaskar Trophy. Both teams will also have an eye on the ICC World Test Championship as the result is likely to impact their standings on the points table.
The last time India won at SCG was way back in 1978. After a period of almost 43 years, the Ajinkya Rahane-led team has a great chance of rewriting history.
We take you through some of the talking points ahead of the third Test.
Sydney favours Australia
Since the last 25 years, only England have managed to defeat Australia in a Test match at SCG on a couple of occasions. The Indian team came close to defeating them at the venue in 2018 before Day Five got washed out due to rain.
The New Year Test will also be a Pink Test. The Australian cricketers will be donning Pink Caps alongside the crowd as well. This will be in honour of the McGrath foundation which supports and spreads awareness related to breast cancer.
Rohit Sharma will be back in cricketing action after missing out on the first two Tests as well as the limited overs series due to injury. This will also be his first international assignment in almost a year.
He will have good memories of SCG where he scored 53 and 39 back in 2015 as he batted at number three. Rohit also has a century in ODIs at the same ground and would be looking to replicate it in the whites as well.
New Pace Attack Again
After Umesh Yadav was ruled out of the Test series, the visitors will again boast of a new pace-attack which will be led by Jasprit Bumrah. Mohammed Siraj bowled decent spells on his debut and would be looking to make the most of the opportunity.
Navdeep Saini is all set to make his Test debut and will be raring to prove himself in the traditional format.
The spin department looks in good shape. Ravichandaran Ashwin is the joint highest wicket-taker in the series alongside Pat Cummins.
David Warner boost to Australia
With the return of David Warner, Australia will not only have an explosive opener back but also a solid run-machine. The southpaw also has four centuries at SCG and is the leading run-scorer in the ground amongst active cricketers.
His presence will stabilise the top order and at the same time, also allow Steve Smith to get acclimatised to the conditions before he can walk out to bat.
Pleasant memories at SCG
Cheteshwar Pujara scored a scintillating 193 at the same ground last time around. On the other hand, Rishabh Pant registered his highest individual score of 159* in Tests. Amongst the bowlers, it was Kuldeep Yadav who ended up with a five-wicket haul.
Cheteshwar Pujara and Rishabh Pant made contrasting centuries as India posted a massive 622/7d on day two of the Sydney Test. #AUSvIND— ICC (@ICC) January 4, 2019
Report of the action from SCG 👇https://t.co/qXYhInXQ7y pic.twitter.com/b1ngNpb0ah
Marnus Labuschagne will also have good memories of SCG as he scored his personal best of 215 back in 2019 against New Zealand here. He followed it up with a fifty and also won the Man of the Match. Nathan Lyon ended up with a ten-wicket haul in the same game.
✅ Going past Steve Smith's Test batting average— ICC (@ICC) January 4, 2020
✅ Scoring his first Test double hundred
✅ Closing in on 500 runs in this series
Marnus Labuschagne is having the time of his life!#AUSvNZ pic.twitter.com/EgzUcdhDQr
India Playing XI
Rohit Sharma, Shubman Gill, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane (Captain), Hanuma Vihari, Rishabh Pant (WK), Ravindra Jadeja, Ravichandran Ashwin, Navdeep Saini, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Siraj