India is all set to play their third Test against Australia at the iconic Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG) on Thursday, January 7.
The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) announced the Playing XI on Wednesday. Primary opener Rohit Sharma will return to the squad after missing out on the first two Test matches of the Border-Gavaskar trophy as he was serving his quarantine period in Sydney. He had arrived late in Australia because of a hamstring injury he sustained in the Indian Premier League (IPL). Rohit will open the innings alongside Shubman Gill.
Navdeep Saini, on the other hand, will make his debut for India in the longest format of the game. Saini has replaced injured Umesh Yadav, who has returned to India after suffering calf muscle injury during the second Test in Melbourne which India won eight wickets. Saini, 28, has so far played seven ODIs and 10 T20Is for India.
Howver, fans were disappointed with the exclusion of in-form pacer T Natarajan.
The Australia batsmen, especially the openers, have struggled to get off to good start putting pressure on the later batsmen as Ravichandran Ashwin, Jasprit Bumrah and others have kept lines that have been difficult to score runs of.
However, the Aussies are entering this Test with a changed strategy and the inclusion of Warner who provides a good start at the top.
Australia captain Tim Paine on Wednesday said that the team would benefit from Warner's aggressive approach at the top as well as a change in strategy where the batsmen will look to hit over the top, play sweep and reverse sweep against an India attack that has allowed them to cross 200 just once.
Among the Australian wickets, Sydney is supposed to be the closest to an Indian wickets.
Rahane, though, says this match is a fresh start and the previous game is history.
"Unfortunate we will miss Umesh and Shami, but their absence gives opportunities to others. I am very happy for Siraj especially, the way he bowled, he stood for us," said Rahane.
He said the team is well-prepared for a changed approach by the hosts.
"As a team you have 3-4 plans, you have to see what works for us. When you come here against Australia, you have to have plans, be well-prepared," said Rahane.
"We had our plans. They really worked for us but what is important for us is to understand what happened in past now, history now. We just have to start well tomorrow's Test. They have got some good batsmen. We are respecting that, focusing on playing good cricket. We want to play simple cricket," he added.
The series is currently tied at 1-1 with Australia winning the first Test in Adelaide while India registering a win in the second in Melbourne.
Here's everything you need to know about the fixture:
When will Australia vs India 3rd Test match take place?
The match will take place on Thursday, January 7, 2020.
Where will Australia vs India 3rd Test match take place?
The match will take place at the Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG).
What time will Australia vs India 3rd Test match begin?
The match will begin at 5:00 AM IST.
Which TV channels will live-telecast Australia vs India 3rd Test match in India?
Sony Ten 1, Sony Ten 3 and their respective HD TV channels will live-telecast the match in India.
Where can I watch Australia vs India 3rd Test live in India?
The match can be streamed live on JioTV and Sony Sports Network platforms.
India Playing XI: Ajinkya Rahane (captain), Rohit Sharma (vice-captain), Shubman Gill, Cheteshwar Pujara, Hanuma Vihari, Rishabh Pant, Ravindra Jadeja, R Ashwin, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Siraj, Navdeep Saini.
Australia squad: Tim Paine (c), Sean Abbott, Pat Cummins, Cameron Green, Marcus Harris, Josh Hazlewood, Travis Head, Moises Henriques, Marnus Labuschagne, Nathan Lyon, Michael Neser, James Pattinson, Will Pucovski, Steve Smith, Mitchell Starc, Mitchell Swepson, Matthew Wade, David Warner
Ajinkya Rahane (C), Rohit Sharma, Shubman Gill, Cheteshwar Pujara, Marnus Labuschagne, Steve Smith, Rishabh Pant, R Ashwin, Nathan Lyon, Jasprit Bumrah, Pat Cummins and Mitchell Starc