India is all set to play their third Test against Australia at the iconic Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG) starting Thursday, January 7.
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.
Pacer Navdeep Saini will also be making his debut for Team 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.
Check out the Playing XI for India:
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.
"We all are really excited to have him (Rohit) back in the team, especially his experience at the highest level which matters a lot. Talking about his batting, he is batting really well in the nets. He had good 7-8 sessions, came to Melbourne, started practice straightaway when our Test match got over," said stand-in India skipper Ajinkya Rahane in the pre-match press conference on Wednesday.
"I think he is batting really well. In the last couple of series he has been batting as an opener, so you will definitely see him batting at the top," 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.