Batsman Rohit Sharma and fast bowler Navdeep Saini have been named in India's XI for this week's third Test against Australia at the Sydney Cricket Ground.
Sharma has replaced fellow opening batsman Mayank Agarwal. Saini has come into the team as a replacement for the injured Umesh Yadav.
India will remain without captain Virat Kohli, who has returned home. Batsman Ajinkya Rahane will continue to captain the XI in the absence of Kohli.
The tourists don't have fast bowlers Mohammed Shami and Ishant Sharma as well. Both are injured.
Rahane Relishes Rohit Return
“We all are really excited to have Rohit back,” said Rahane.
“His experience at the highest level matters a lot. He is batting really well in the nets. He has had seven nets sessions. He came to Melbourne, and started his practice straightaway after the Test got over.
“He has been batting really well. The last couple of series he has batted as an opener, so you will definitely see Rohit at the top of the order.”
The four-Test series is currently locked one-all. Australia won the first match in Adelaide. India won the second in Melbourne. The fourth and final fixture is due to be played in Brisbane.
Paine up for the Challenge
Australian captain Tim Paine, meanwhile, is looking forward to another challenging contest against Rahane and company.
“It has been unusually tame, the start of this series and I think it's because both teams are just happy to be back playing Test cricket, there's been such a big break and there's a lot of respect between the two teams – no doubt about that,” said Paine.
“But they are very competitive sides. It's boiling away, there's some stuff starting to happen, a bit of chat starting to happen, so I think this Test is going to be fascinating not just from a cricket point of view.”
The Australians will likely return opening batsman David Warner to the XI for the SCG Test. The out-of-form Joe Burns has been left out of the squad.
India XI for SCG Test
- Rohit Sharma
- Shubman Gill
- Cheteshwar Pujara
- Ajinkya Rahane (captain)
- Hanuma Vihari
- Rishabh Pant (wicketkeeper)
- Ravindra Jadeja
- Ravichandran Ashwin
- Jasprit Bumrah
- Navdeep Saini
- Mohammed Siraj