Australia vs India: Navdeep Saini to debut as visitors announce playing eleven for Sydney Test

Australia vs India: Navdeep Saini to debut as visitors announce playing eleven for Sydney Test

Rohit Sharma has made his way into the lineup after missing the first two Tests in Adelaide and Melbourne.

Navdeep Saini
Navdeep Saini. (Photo Source: Getty Images)

Navdeep Saini is all set to make his Test debut as he has been announced in India’s playing eleven for the third Test against Australia at the Sydney Cricket Ground. He has replaced Umesh Yadav, who has been ruled out of the remaining two Tests due to an injury. Though T Natarajan was added to the squad in place of Yadav, it was Saini, who got the nod ahead of the left-armer.

Having already played ODI and T20I cricket for the last one and half years, the Karnal-born Saini has gotten a fair amount of experience at the highest level. The speedster was a part of the Day-Night warm-up match against Australia A at the Sydney Cricket Ground where he picked up three wickets. In the pace department, he will have Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammed Siraj for company.

Mayank Agarwal dropped

Going into the third Test, starting January 7, Rohit Sharma was said to be in contention for a place in the team after he recovered from the hamstring injury. As per reports earlier, Rohit’s position in the side was subject to his fitness levels after he finished his 14-day quarantine during his stay in Sydney. The Nagpur-born indeed made the playing eleven in place of Mayank Agarwal.

Agarwal has scored only 31 runs in the series at an average of 7.75 and the selectors decided not to persist with him. Agarwal could feel hard done by since he has three centuries and four fifties for Team India in 13 Tests. Shubman Gill retained his place in the lineup after playing a couple of fluent knocks in the second Test at the Melbourne Cricket Ground.

Even for the SCG Test, India opted for the spin-duo of Ravi Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja. In the pace attack, Bumrah’s role will be of prime importance with Siraj and Saini not so experienced. Cheteshwar Pujara has had his struggles and he would be keen to make amends. The onus will also be on skipper Ajinkya Rahane, the current top run-scorer in the series.

Here’s India’s Playing XI:

Rohit Sharma, Shubman Gill, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane (C), Hanuma Vihari, Rishabh Pant (WK), Ravindra Jadeja, Ravi Ashwin, Jasprit Bumrah, Navdeep Saini, Mohammed Siraj