India’s Strongest XI for the 3rd Test against Australia

The Indian team made a stunning comeback in the second Test after being bowled out for 36 in the second innings at Adelaide. Ajinkya Rahane who is leading the side in the absence of Virat Kohli, led from the front as he scored a magnificent century in the first innings which helped India take a lead of more than 100 runs. The Indian bowlers were outstanding as they kept the Australian batsmen under pressure which helped them pick up wickets at regular intervals.

The series is levelled 1-1 going into the New Year’s Test at Sydney. Australia’s batting hasn’t delivered, and they have announced a few changes in their squad. Most likely David Warner will be back for the third Test and Travis Head who has got out to lose shots might be dropped from the middle-order. Even the Indian team might have a few changes for the third Test at the SCG. So, let’s have a look at India’s strongest playing XI for the third Test in the Border-Gavaskar Trophy.

Openers – Rohit Sharma and Shubman Gill

Rohit Sharma is finally back with the Indian team as he finished his 14-day quarantine and has started to train with the team in the last couple of days. Sharma was announced as the vice-captain of the Test side which means he is definitely making the XI. Mayank Agarwal hasn’t looked comfortable in the four innings and there is a high chance that Rohit Sharma will replace Agarwal at the top of the order.


Rohit Sharma will bring in some experience, and he likes to play against Australia. Even if he hasn’t played much Test cricket in Australia, he won’t be surprised with the pace and bounce. Shubman Gill was great on his debut and he should keep his place in the XI.

Middle-order – Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane & Hanuma Vihari

Cheteshwar Pujara and Hanuma Vihari haven’t scored runs, but they are class players and sooner or later we can expect a big score from them. Both these players got a start in the first innings at Melbourne but failed to capitalize on that start. They need to make sure that they make it big once they are set and looking good.

Ajinkya Rahane will remain key for India in the middle-order, and he has made it clear that he will take the responsibility at No.4. He stitched important partnerships with the middle-order batsmen in the last Test and will look to do the same in the next Test.


Wicket-keeper & All-rounder – Rishabh Pant & Ravindra Jadeja

Rishabh Pant had a decent game in the Boxing Day Test match as he scored 29 runs and took some catches. There is still scope for improvement when it comes to wicket-keeping, and he should work on his keeping skills. Ravindra Jadeja was absolutely brilliant in the last game as he scored a crucial fifty with his skipper and then picked up three wickets in the game.

Not only his batting and bowling, but he also took some great catches in the outfield which was important for India because they dropped many catches in the first Test. Both these players will be important at No.6 and No.7 for India if they want to score big runs.

Bowlers – R Ashwin, Navdeep Saini, Jasprit Bumrah & Mohammad Siraj

Three out of these four bowlers pick themselves as they had a great game at MCG. Mohammad Siraj had an outstanding debut as he bowled with pace and control. He picked up five wickets in his debut game against Australia. Jasprit Bumrah and R Ashwin the senior pros were troubling the Australian batsmen left, right, and center as they kept picking up wickets at the right time.


Umesh Yadav who was the third pacer for the second Test injured his calf, and he has been ruled out of the series. It is a three-way battle between Navdeep Saini, Shardul Thakur, and T Natarajan but Saini was part of the squad from the start of the tour, and so he should be the first-choice bowler. He bowls quick and has played more than 25 FC games. It would be interesting to see whether Navdeep Saini makes his Test debut at the SCG.

Shubham K

I am currently studying Computer Engineering at SVNIT Surat. I am a big cricket fan and like writing about Cricket.

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