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Follwing the new trend, India has once again named their playing XI a day ahead of the third Test against Australia, starting on Thursday at the iconic Sydney Cricket Ground. Expectedly, Rohit Sharma was slotted back into the line-up after his long injury lay-off and 14-day quarantine upon his arrival Down Under. Pacer Navdeep Saini, whose bowling was questioned in the tour games, has been finally handed his maiden Test cap after Umesh Yadav was injured.

India's playing XI for third Test Rohit Sharma, Shubman Gill, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane, Hanuma Vihari, Rishabh Pant, Ravindra Jadeja, R Ashwin, Jasprit Bumrah, Navdeep Saini and Mohammed Siraj.

Earlier, Indian stand-in skipper Ajinkya Rahane has confirmed that Rohit Sharma will open in the third Test, starting on Thursday.


"We all are really excited to have him (Rohit) back in the team, especially his experience at the highest level which matters a lot. Talking about his batting, he is batting really well in the nets. He had good 7-8 sessions, came to Melbourne, started practice straightaway when our Test match (Boxing Day Test) got over," said Rahane in the pre-match press conference on Wednesday.

"I think he is batting really well. The last couple of series he has been batting as an opener, so you will definitely see him batting at the top," he added.

Rahane, who led India to win in Melbourne Test, also addressed the issue of uncertainty over fourth Test in Brisbane, saying BCCI and team management will take a call on it later.

"We as players will follow whatever the BCCI and the team management decides," Rahane said.

While five Indian cricketers were earlier isolated for alleged breach of COVID-19 protocol, the skipper admitted that  it's difficult for players to follow quarantine rules when everything seems normal in Sydney.

"Outside life in Sydney is completely normal but players are in quarantine which has its own challenge. But we have to face it, we are not complaining and focusing on the 3rd Test."

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