Australia and India’s preparations for the third Test have been disrupted by protocol breaches and threats of a boycott of the fourth Test.
Image Copyright – Steve Haag Sports
The teams head to the SCG locked at 1-1 after India fought back to level the series with an accomplished display in Melbourne
Australia vs India | 7 January – 11 January | Sydney Cricket Ground, Sydney | 01:30
To Win Match
Australia have finally axed Joe Burns and are hoping to bring David Warner back into the fold for the crucial third Test.
Thus far it has been a lean series for Australia’s top-order with the openers’ struggles knocking on to Steve Smith and Marnus Labuschagne.
The bowlers have done a great job of carrying Australia’s efforts with the quicks being at the forefront of their efforts, but it could be spinner Nathan Lyon, who has always enjoyed the SCG, who proves to be their key man.
Australia skipper Tim Paine has done well in reinforcing the shaky top order but will need to find a little extra if he is to alleviate the pressure on him as the captain of a side faltering on their own patch.
India appear likely to bring Rohit Sharma in for the third Test despite his health protocol breach and a ‘beef-eating’ scandal.
Ajinkya Rahane has led from the front as stand-in skipper with a superb hundred at the MCG, but his job is far from over with his team facing another trial by fire in Sydney.
Jasprit Bumrah has so far led a disciplined India attack that has found a way to build pressure on the hosts, making life difficult for the Australia top-order. He too was caught up in the protocol breach but is expected to take to the field in Sydney after all players tested negative for the dreaded virus.
Rishabh Pant will likely have another shot at supplanting Wriddhiman Saha as India’s number one Test wicketkeeper. The turn expected from the pitch will provide him with a chance to prove his glovework can come close to matching his batting for impact.
Verdict: Australia 13/20
The disruptions to the India camp could hold the key to Australia turning the series around.
Written by James Richardson.