India is ready for Australian’s new challenge (preview)

Sydney, 6 January (IANS) The Indian cricket team, which is staying here under strict quarantine rules and sanctions in the hotel, will be physically and mentally tested when it faces Australia for the third Test match at the Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG) on Thursday.

After losing the first Test match in Adelaide, the Indian team won the second Test match played in Melbourne to equalize the four-match Test series 1-1.

The Indian team, however, has been in controversy for the past one week, as five of its players were accused of allegedly breaking bio-security protocols. A video of five Indian players eating food inside a restaurant in Melbourne went viral. After this, BCCI and Cricket Australia had set up an inquiry on this. The Indian team has selected these five to four players in the team for the third Test match.

At the same time, David Warner will be back in the Australian team. The team has allowed all batsmen to attack the Indian bowlers and hence an exciting match can be expected.

India has decided to play five bowlers in the third Test match. Navdeep Saini will make his Test debut at SCG. He has been brought into the squad in place of Umesh Yadav, who was injured in the second Test.

Rohit Sharma is also back in the team. He will replace Manik Agarwal. Rohit is one of the five players who were convicted of Bio Security protocols. The rest of the players are Saini, Shubman Gill, Rishabh Pant and Prithvi Shaw. All except Shaw got a place in the final-11.

India has shown its dominance over Australia so far, excluding these two things, the controversy of eating out and the first hour in which the Indian team was reduced to 36 runs.

After batting poorly in the first Test, the team made a strong comeback in the second Test. The acting captain of the team Ajinkya Rahane had scored a brilliant century and the bowlers had upset the Australian batsmen.

The Australian batsmen, especially the opening pair, had failed to give a good start and could not put pressure on the rest of the Indian bowlers including Ravichandran Ashwin and Jasprit Bumrah.

Australia, however, are coming into this match with a changed strategy and Warner’s entry into the team reinforces those who have the power to give the team a strong start in the top order.

Australian captain Tim Paine said on Wednesday that Warner’s aggressive attitude would benefit the team.

When it comes to the pitch, the Sydney pitch is considered like the Indian pitches.

However, Rahane has said that this match is a new beginning and the previous match has become a history.

Rahane said, bad luck will miss Umesh and Shami, but his absence has given the rest. I am especially happy for Siraj, the way he bowled has been very useful for us.

He said, as a team we have three-four plans. You have to see which plan will work for us. When you come here you should be fully prepared.

Teams

Indian team: Ajinkya Rahane (captain), Rohit Sharma (vice-captain), Shubman Gill, Cheteshwar Pujara, Hanuma Vihari, Rishabh Pant, Ravindra Jadeja, Ravichandran Ashwin, Jaspreet Bumrah, Mohammad Siraj and Navdeep Saini.

Australia: Tim Paine (captain), Sean Abbott, Pat Cummins, Cameron Green, Marcus Harris, Josh Hazlewood, Travis Head, Moises Henriques, Marnus Labushan, Nathan Lyon, Mitchell Nasser, James Pattinson, Will Pukowski, Steve Smith, Mitchell Starc, Michelle Swepson, Matthew Wade, David Warner.

–IANS

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