India's strongest XI for the Sydney Test
- The final Test gets underway on January 3.
So, we are down to the final Test of the Border-Gavaskar Trophy with Virat Kohli's men at the cusp of achieving what no India team has ever achieved ever since they first toured Australia in 1947, win a Test series Down Under.
The final Test at Sydney will also end India's epic 12-Test odyssey, and they would dearly like to cap it off with a series win after heart-wrenching disappointments in South Africa and England.
Those disappointments in England and South Africa and also in Perth wasn't down to the opposition outplaying the Indians but a major reason for those defeats was down to the team management's inability to read the playing conditions.
At Perth, India made the mistake of playing an all-seam attack which backfired substantially as Nathan Lyon gave a match-winning performance to rout India by 140 runs, which is what brings the nature of Sydney pitch and the playing 11.
The pitch at Sydney is most conducive to spin bowling and it will interesting to see what playing 11 India fields at the SCG.
India's record at the SCG: P- 11 W- 1 L- 5 D- 5
Here's a look at the strongest playing 11 India can field at the SCG.
Openers: Hanuma Vihari & Mayank Agarwal
In Melbourne, we saw just how a potent opening partnership that wears out the shine of the new ball can go a long way in laying a platform for the middle-order.
He may have just eight runs to show against his name, but Hanuma Vihari, along with debutant Mayank Agarwal gave India's middle-order a cushion by blunting out close to 16 overs in the first innings at Melbourne.
While Vihari was cautious in his approach, Agarwal was the dominant partner of the two, unleashing sublime drives off the quicks before unsettling Nathan Lyon by shimming down the track besides employing the sweep shot to register his maiden fifty in Test cricket.
Both Vihari and Agarwal are set to open again at the SCG.