Before the series, India and Australia met at Sydney 12 times. But India have not enjoyed much luck at the venue.
In 12 previous meetings between the two sides at the SCG, India have won a solitary Test. Australia have been victorious in five matches while the six produced no result.
India’s only triumph at the SCG came in 1978 when they defeated Australia by an innings and two runs. The last two Tests between India and Australia at Sydney, in 2015 and 2019, ended in draws.
While the New Year Test at the SCG usually draws handsome crowds, the match this year will allow 25% crowd, at least at the start, owing to a fresh outbreak of COVID-19 in Sydney.
At the same time, a few records could be broken at the SCG when India and Australia resume their rivalry on January 7.
Will these five records be broken during the SCG Test?
#1. Cheteshwar Pujara 97 away from 6,000 Test runs
India’s No.3 Cheteshwar Pujara has had a pretty ordinary series so far in contrast to his epic display in 2018-19. He has only managed scores of 43, 0, 17 and, 3 in the four innings.
If Pujara strikes form in the SCG Test, he could become the 11th Indian to cross 6000 runs in Tests, and the sixth fastest.
So far, Pujara has scored 5,903 Test runs from 132 innings at an average of 47.60. Sunil Gavaskar (117), Virat Kohli (119), Sachin Tendulkar (120), Virender Sehwag (123) and Rahul Dravid (125) have got there quicker.
Incidentally, Pujara’s last Test hundred came at the SCG during the New Year Test of 2019. Pujara hit 193 from 373 balls with the aid of 22 fours.
#2. Nathan Lyon needs six scalps to complete 400 Test wickets
One of the most underrated cricketers of the modern era, Nathan Lyon has 394 Test wickets to his name from 98 matches at an average of 31.63.
The off-spinner claimed four wickets in the first two Tests and now needs to take six wickets in the SCG to complete 400 Test scalps.
If he reaches the landmark, it will be a massive achievement for the ‘Lyon’ of Australian cricket. Shane Warne (708) and Glenn McGrath (563) are the only Australians with 400-plus Test wickets. So, Lyon is all set to join an elite club.
That’s not all. The fourth and final Test at Brisbane will be the 33-year-old spinner’s 100th Test match. He will become the 13th Australian to do so.
#3. Can Rahane equal Sehwag's SCG record?
Stand-in skipper Ajinkya Rahane has two Test hundreds against Australia, both at the MCG. If he manages to notch up one more hundred in the SCG Test, he will join Virender Sehwag, who has three Test hundreds against the Aussies.
While Sehwag notched up three Test tons in 22 matches, Rahane has two against Australia in 15 matches. Sehwag scored 1738 runs against the Aussies at an average of 41.38.
Going into the SCG Test, Rahane has 1003 runs to his name, averaging 40.12.
Sachin Tendulkar holds the record for having scored most Test hundreds against Australia - 11 in 39 matches.
Sunil Gavaskar has eight Test tons against Australia, Virat Kohli seven, VVS Laxman six and Pujara five.
#4. Warner looks to go past Chappell and Boon
David Warner, if fit, is likely to open the innings in the SCG Test. The left-hander has an amazing record in Sydney.
In eight Test matches at the SCG, he has notched up 732 runs at an average of 66.54 with four hundreds. If he registers one more ton, he will go past David Boon and Greg Chappell on the list of Australians with most hundreds at the venue.
Boon and Chappell scored four Test hundreds at the SCG in 11 and 12 Tests respectively.
Former Australian skipper Ricky Ponting has notched up most Test tons at Sydney. He registered six hundreds in 16 matches at an average of 67.27.
#5. Rohit Sharma could complete a century of sixes
Rohit Sharma is on the verge of a unique record against the Australians. If smashes a maximum at Sydney, he will become the first player to register 100 sixes against Australia in international cricket (all three formats combined).
In 64 matches so far, Rohit has blasted 99 sixes against Australia. He has smashed 2805 runs in these games at an average of 47.54 with eight hundreds and 13 fifties.
England's limited-overs captain Eoin Morgan is second on the list with 63 sixes.
Among Indians, Rohit is followed by two former captains, MS Dhoni and Tendulkar, who have smashed 60 sixes each against the Aussies from 91 and 110 matches respectively.Published 05 Jan 2021, 07:56 IST