Team India couldn’t have started the new year on a better note. They are at the brink of sealing a historic Test series win in Australia, and the battleground SCG is the one where they have done well in the past. Captain Kohli is equipped with what is being hailed as the best pace bowling unit India has ever produced and his number three batsman is at the peak of his form.
The challenge to win Sydney shouldn’t be a daunting one considering Australia’s form and mindset but Team India knows the perils of taking their opponents lightly. So, expect India to go full throttle at SCG and at the forefront of this battle will be these three players-
A mountain of runs in domestic cricket-check. A fifty on Test debut-check. Now here comes the tough part.
Mayank Agarwal proved that he belongs to Test cricket with two fine knocks at Melbourne but now he has to ensure he holds on to his place amidst tough competition. Shaw will be back soon and KL Rahul and M Vijay aren’t too far behind.
The task is simple for Agarwal. Score runs and lots of runs and cement your place.
With Jasprit Bumrah taking the center stage, Mohammad Shami’s impressive work has gone unnoticed. Bumrah was India’s star of 2018 with 48 wickets, but Shami wasn’t too far behind with 47 wickets.
Shami has given India wickets with the old ball and control during the middle overs. However, he lacked the bite with the new ball and has leaked runs. But at SCG, on a deteriorating pitch, Shami can swing the game with his ability to generate life from nowhere.
Even before the Test series started, the questions were not on India’s bowlers but were on India’s batsmen. Tours of South Africa and England proved that Indian bowlers can take 20 wickets but the challenge was for Indian batsmen to score enough runs.
In Australia, the duo of Pujara and Kohli and to some extent Rahane gave bowlers the runs to bowl with liberty and that has been the difference between tours of England-South Africa and Australia.
At SCG, India wants Kohli and Pujara to set the foundation once again so that the bowlers can conquer Australia.