After two lopsided matches, the third Test match of the Border-Gavaskar Trophy series between Australia and India is expected to last all five days. The match will be played at the iconic Sydney Cricket Ground, Sydney starting Thursday.
Australia won the series opener, which also witnessed India recording their lowest ever Test score, then the visitors under Ajinkya Rahane hit back with a similar win-margin, by eight wickets. But both the matches were one-sided affairs. So, an even contest can be expected in Australia's traditional New Year's Test.
And for the 11th straight year, the Sydney Test will go pink to help spread breast cancer awareness, with the help of the Jane McGrath Foundation.
India have already announced their XI, with pacer Navdeep Saini replacing injured Umesh Yadav. Rohit Sharma will also make his much-awaited return to Test cricket, coming in for Mayank Agarwal.
For Australia, David Warner and uncapped Will Pucovski are likely to form a new opening pair. Warner, who suffered a groin tear, hasn't played a Test for a year, while Pucovski continued a seemingly never-ending date with concussion. But both are reported to be match fit.
INDIA XI: Rohit Sharma, Shubman Gill, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane (c), Hanuma Vihari, Rishabh Pant (wk), Ravindra Jadeja, R Ashwin, Navdeep Saini, Mohammed Siraj, Jasprit Bumrah.
Likely AUSTRALIA XI: David Warner, Will Pucovski, Marnus Labuschagne, Steven Smith, Matthew Wade, Cameron Green, Tim Paine (c & wk), Pat Cummins, Mitchell Starc, Nathan Lyon, Josh Hazlewood
Head-to-head: India have played 12 Tests at the SCG, and just won one, way back in 1978, when they won by an innings and two runs. In the last match, they played out a draw. Australia have won five times.
Overall, they have met 100 times, and the head-to-head record still favours the Aussies, by 43-29. There were 27 draws and one tied match.
Match and telecast details:
Match: Third match of the Border-Gavaskar Trophy series between Australia and India.
Date: January 07 to 11, 2021
Time: 5:00 AM IST/10:30 AM LOCAL
Venue: Sydney Cricket Ground, Sydney, Australia
TV Telecast: Sony SIX, Sony TEN 1, Sony TEN 3
Live Streaming: SonyLiv
Pitch: A hard surface with a lot of grass, according to curator Adam Lewis. He said that that they "have rolled up a really good wicket".
The last time the venue hosted a Test match, Australia humbled New Zealand by 279 runs in January last year with Marnus Labuschagne scoring a first-innings double ton. Warner scored a century in the second outing.
Weather: Forecast for mild showers on the first two days, but overall a perfect set-up for Test cricket.
- Cheteshwar Pujara needs 97 runs to reach the 6000-run mark in Test
- Ravindra Jadeja needs 74 runs to reach 2000.
- Nathan Lyon needs six wickets to reach the 400-wicket mark in Test