India made two changes to their XI to the Sydney Cricket Ground test against Australia, Reinject superstar short form specialist Rohit Sharma and introduce quick pitcher Navdeep Saini to his debut.
Opening batsman Mayank Agarwal has been suspended for the third test, which is scheduled to start tomorrow, while paceman Umesh Yadav was excluded from the series due to the calf strain he suffered during the Boxing Day Test.
Sharma, who has been more successful in T20 and international one-day cricket but also averaging 46.54 from 32 tests, will partner One-Test young pistol Shubman Gill at the top of the command.
Sharma has not played a cricket match since straining his hamstrings in the 2020 Indian Premier League, despite not taking part in a test since playing against Bangladesh in Calcutta in November 2019.
The hard-hitting right-hander contested India’s first-ever test series victory in Australia in the summer of 2018-19, scoring 106 races at an average of 35.33 in two tests.
Agarwal made his test debut on that tour of Australia and finished the series with 195 runs at an average of 65 in two matches.
But the 29-year-old struggled in the first two tests of this series, managing just 17 races for an average of 7.75.
Instead, the selection panel chose to select Gill, 21, who collected 45 and 35 no at the Melbourne Cricket Ground Test.
Punjabi have also accumulated 2,350 points with an average of 69.11 and best score of 268, in 24 first-class appearances.
Saini will form a bowling attack with Mohammed Siraj, Jasprit Bumrah, Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja.
The right owner took 128 first class counters at an average of 28.46.
He took 3-19 in the opening innings of India A’s SCG match against Australia A.
However, many people in the cricket world frowned upon Saini for the bouncer attack he shot Australia A finisher Harry Conway.
Australia and India are locked to a whole in the Border-Gavaskar Trophy series with two tests remaining.
India XI for the third test: Shubman Gill, Rohit Sharma, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane (c), Hanuma Vihari, Pantalon Rishabh (wk), Ravindra Jadeja, Ravichandran Ashwin, Navdeep Saini, Mohammed Siraj, Jasprit Bumrah
For a daily dose of the best of the latest news and exclusive content from Wide World of Sports, subscribe to our newsletter by clicking here!