Jan 7: Australia vs India, 3rd Test, Sydney

Pro Tip: The return of David Warner is a huge boost for Australia, especially with Steven Smith struggling for runs. He has phenomenal numbers at SCG and should be a certain starter in your XI.

Our XI: Rishabh Pant, David Warner, Steven Smith, Marnus Labuschagne, Shubman Gill, Ajinkya Rahane, R Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Mitchell Starc, Pat Cummins, Jasprit Bumrah

Substitutes: Cheteshwar Pujara, Rohit Sharma, Nathan Lyon, Matthew Wade

Player availability: India's XI has been announced. Rohit Sharma and Navdeep Saini are both in, with the quick bowler set to make his Test debut. They have replaced Mayank Agarwal and the injured Umesh Yadav. For Australia, David Warner and Will Pucovski are likely to open. We might not always be able to tip you off about late injury (or other relevant) updates, so please finalise your team after the toss.

Captain: R Ashwin

The joint-highest wicket-taker in the series so far, Ashwin has been extremely impressive in picking up ten wickets at an average of 17. 70. The last time he played in Sydney, he picked up five wickets and scored a crucial 50, which helped India draw the game in 2015.

Vice-captain: Marnus Labuschagne

Labuschagne has scored 1378 runs in 19 innings at an average of 72.52 in the World Test Championship, well ahead of the rest of the pack - Ben Stokes and Smith are the only others to have topped 1000 so far. He has been in good form of late too, with two Sheffield Shield centuries in October-November and a couple of 40-plus scores in the first innings of both the Tests. He is due for a big one.

Hot Picks

Ajinkya Rahane: Rahane made a huge impact in the last game, with his 112 in the first innings and brilliant effort. As captain in Test cricket, he has scored 233 runs in three games at an average of 77.66. Not to forget the catches in the close-in region.

Shubman Gill: Gill scored 45 and 35* in the MCG Test. He averages 69.11 in first-class cricket after 24 matches. He should continue his good form.

Pat Cummins: Since the start of 2019, Cummins has picked up the second most wickets in Tests, with 73 strikes in 15 Tests, at a stunning average of 19.61. He has dismissed Cheteshwar Pujara five times in eight Tests.

Differential Picks

Ravindra Jadeja: Jadeja been in phenomenal form recently. Since 2018, he averages 53.57 with the bat. In the same period, he has picked up 51 wickets in 15 games at a bowling average of 26.90.

David Warner: Nobody has scored more Test runs than Warner at Sydney Cricket Ground among active players - 732 in eight games with four centuries. The last time he played here, against New Zealand, he scored a century, which was the case when he played India last time here too.

Alternate Scenarios

  • Nathan Lyon, who has picked up 36 wickets in nine games at the SCG, can replace Mitchell Starc.
  • Do consider Chesteshwar Pujara or Rohit Sharma in place of Shubman Gill.