India’s Predicted XI For 3rd Test

After a morale-boosting win in the Boxing Day Test, the Ajinkya Rahane-led side would like to continue the winning momentum into the new year. With the four-match Test series locked at 1-1, Australia hosts India in the third Test at the iconic Sydney Cricket Ground on January 7.

Despite the win, the Indian team is likely to make a couple of changes to the playing XI. In all probability, Mayank Agarwal – who failed in four outings – will make way for Rohit Sharma, who has been appointed the vice-captain of the side.

That would mean, Rohit would open the batting with young Shubman Gill – who scored 45 and 35* – showed a lot of promise at Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG).

The other change is a forced one. Umesh Yadav – who has been in good form with the ball – has been ruled out because of a calf injury he picked up at MCG. There would be a toss-up in all likelihood between Shardul Thakur and T. Natarajan.

If that is the case, the odds may favour the left-arm pacer as he will bring variety to the table. Natarajan – who was extremely impressive during the limited-overs internationals – has high chances of making his debut at SCG.

The rest of the squad will remain unchanged.

While Rahane would be expected to continue from where he left off in MCG, fans would hope Rohit – who is making a comeback to the side – brings in the experience that has been missing at the top.

The bowlers – spinners and pacers – have been in top form and have been the architects of the historic win at MCG – bowling out the hosts cheaply on both occasions.

India’s Predicted XI For 3rd Test: Shubman Gill, Rohit Sharma, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane, Hanuma Vihari, Rishabh Pant, Ravindra Jadeja, Ravichandran Ashwin, T Natarajan, Mohammed Siraj, Jasprit Bumrah