Clearing the air on Rohit Sharma’s position in the batting order for the all-important Sydney Test, Team India stand-in captain Ajinkya Rahane confirmed that the right-hand batsman will be opening the innings against Australia.
Rahane informed that his Mumbai teammate will bat at the top of the order at the order, with struggling opener Mayank Agarwal making way for him.
Agarwal looked woefully out of touch in the first two Tests in Adelaide and Melbourne which Rohit missed as he served the necessary quarantine in Sydney.
We Are Excited To Have Rohit Sharma Back: Ajinkya Rahane
Rahane made it a point to state that the Indian team is excited to have their first-choice opener Rohit back. Rohit Sharma had batted tremendously after being promoted to open in the 2019-20 home season versus South Africa and Bangladesh. Overall, the 33-year-old has played 32 Tests for India with 2,141 runs at an average of 46.54, including six centuries.
“We are excited to have Rohit back, he is batting really well in the nets. Rohit will bat at the top of the order,” said Rahane during the pre-match press conference on Wednesday (January 6).
India To Play Navdeep Saini For Injured Umesh Yadav
In another news regarding the team selection, Delhi cricketer Navdeep Saini has been given the nod in the third paceman’s role and will be making his Test debut at the Sydney Cricket Ground.
Saini was in contention to join the pace department alongside T Natarajan and Shardul Thakur but has been picked ahead of them. He will be joining Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Siraj, Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja in a five-pronged Indian bowling attack.
Saini has already represented India in 7 ODIs and 10 T20Is. He has played 46 matches at the first-class level and averages 28.46 with 128 wickets.
Quarantine Life Is A Challenge: Ajinkya Rahane
There have been reports suggesting Team India’s displeasure over strict quarantine protocols, especially about a potential isolation phase upon reaching Brisbane, the venue for the fourth and final Test. Rahane admitted that being in quarantine is a massive challenge but added that his team is focused on playing good cricket.
“Quarantine life is a challenge, knowing life in Sydney is completely normal and we are stuck in quarantine,” he said.
Team India levelled the Test series 1-1 with a resounding victory in Melbourne after having gone down in Adelaide the game before. Rahane’s men need one more win to be able to retain the coveted Border-Gavaskar Trophy.