Fast bowler Navdeep Saini is set to make his Test debut against Australia at the Sydney Cricket Ground tomorrow. Both Navdeep Saini and recently-appointed vice-captain Rohit Sharma came into India’s starting line-up for the third Test against Australia, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) announced on Wednesday (January 6).
The penultimate match of India’s tour Down Under starts on Thursday (January 7), at the Sydney Cricket Ground. The Ajinkya Rahane-led side made two changes to the playing XI which bounced back to register a series-leveling eight-wicket victory in the second Test in Melbourne.
Opener Mayank Agarwal - who has scored a meager 31 runs in the four innings so far - has been replaced by Rohit Sharma. Sharma was initially recuperating from a hamstring injury and joined the rest of his teammates late. It was only last Wednesday that the white-ball stalwart entered India’s bubble following a 14-day quarantine period.
Umesh Yadav became the recent casualty to join Mohammad Shami, as the former sustained a calf muscle injury after bowling just 3.3 overs in Australia’s second innings of the Boxing Day Test. Yadav, who has flown back to India, was replaced by T Natarajan in the squad. But it is Navdeep Saini who will take the field at the Sydney Cricket Ground.
India’s playing XI for third Test against Australia
Shubman Gill, who made his Test debut in Melbourne, will have a new opening partner in Rohit Sharma. On the bowling front, India have gone in with three pacers in Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammad Siraj, and Navdeep Saini along with the spin duo of Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja.
Playing XI: Ajinkya Rahane (C), Rohit Sharma (VC), Shubman Gill, Cheteshwar Pujara, Hanuma Vihari, Rishabh Pant (wk), Ravindra Jadeja, Ravichandran Ashwin, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammad Siraj, Navdeep Saini