3rd Test: Rohit Sharma replaces Mayank Agarwal, Navdeep Saini to make his debut

NEW DELHI: The BCCI on Wednesday announced the playing XI for the third Test vs Australia in Sydney, which begins on Thursday, January 7.
As expected, Rohit Sharma has replaced Mayank Agarwal and is expected to open the batting with Shubman Gill. Rohit returns after recovering from a hamstring injury. He was not the part of the ODI and T20I series in Australia as well as the first two Tests (in Adelaide and Melbourne). He will be deputy to Rahane in the remaining two Tests.
Gill was impressive in the second Test as he scored an unbeaten 45 in the first innings and then a brilliant 35 in the second innings of the MCG Test that India won by eight wickets.
The other change in the playing XI is 28-year-old fast bowler Navdeev Saini being handed a Test debut in place of the injured Umesh Yadav. Despite a lot of talk of either Shardul Thakur or T Natarajan replacing Umesh, the team management has decided to go in with the fastest option available, which is Saini.

Captain Ajinkya Rahane will go with three pacers against Australia at the SCG. Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammed Siraj are the other two pacers in the eleven. India therefore, as expected are sticking to the five bowler approach.
Australia won the first Test by eight wickets. India bounced back at the MCG to level the series with an eight-wicket win.
Rahane has a hundred percent track record as captain in Tests. The 32-year-old has led India in three Tests so far and has emerged victorious on all occasions. His three wins have been registered against Australia (2017), against Afghanistan (2018) and against Australia (2020).

SCG hasn’t been a happy hunting ground for India traditionally. India have played 12 Tests in this venue and managed to win only once. They won in 1978 under the leadership of Bishan Singh Bedi. Apart from this only win, Team India have lost five and drawn Tests on six occasions.
Ajinkya Rahane (captain), Rohit Sharma(VC), Shubman Gill, Cheteshwar Pujara, Hanuma Vihari, Rishabh Pant, Ravindra Jadeja, R Ashwin, N Saini, Mohammed Siraj, Jasprit Bumrah

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