AUSTRALIA. Sydney: Team India has announced their final playing XI for the third Test of the four-match series of Border-Gavaskar trophy to be played at Sydney Cricket Ground(SCG) tomorrow. Rohit Sharma is included in place of the out of form batsman Mayank Aggarwal.
The second forced change happened due to the injury of fast bowler Umesh Yadav who is now unavailable for the whole series. In his place, another fast bowler, Navdeep Saini, is going to make his debut. The speedster is selected ahead of the left-arm rookie, T. Natrajan, just because he can consistently clock the speed of more than 140kmph.
Rohit Sharma’s inclusion, a big boost for India
Sharma is going to open the Indian innings along with Shubhamann Gill who has shown his class and temperament in the second test at MCG. Sharma has played five test matches in Australia and scored 279 runs at an average of 31 with the top score of 63 not out. Interestingly, he has never opened the innings away from India. The inclusion of Rohit Sharma in the playing XI is a big boost for India as Virat Kohli had left after the first test due to personal commitments. Kohli is with his wife and Bollywood actress Anushka Sharma who is going to give birth to their first child.
Rohit Sharma’s test career reignited when he began to open for India in 2018 against South Africa at home. He scored 176,127 and 212 in that series. Sharma got injured during last year’s IPL in the United Arab Emirates and missed the first two test matches.
A dream debut for Saini
Saini’s inclusion to the Indian squad is no surprise as the speedster was catching the attention of selectors for the last two years. His performance in recently concluded IPL was satisfactory. He took 6 wickets in 13 matches at an economy of 8.26. But his consistent speed of 140 plus km is what impressed the selector. His bouncers and yorkers can be effective at SCG.
Final playing XI
A Rahane (C), R. Sharma (VC), S. Gill, C .Pujara, H. Vihari, R. Pant (WK), R. Jadeja, R. Ashwin, J. Bumrah, M. Siraj and N. Saini