IND vs AUS: Rohit to open batting in Sydney, confirms Rahane

As India gears up for the third Test against Australia, India captain Ajinkya Rahane made it clear that Rohit Sharma will be opening the innings.

Ravi Shastri (right) praised Ajinkya Rahane saying the skipper is a very shrewd leader and a good reader of the game.   -  GETTY IMAGES

A day before the third Test against Australia, which begins at the Sydney Cricket Ground on Thursday, India captain Ajinkya Rahane confirmed that Rohit Sharma will be opening the innings.

"We are excited to have him back. He has experience at the highest level, which matters a lot. He had good sessions at the nets, came to Melbourne and started practice straightaway. He has been batting really well. In the last couple of series, Rohit opened the innings for us, so you will definitely see him at the top," Rahane said on the eve of the third Test.

The team management announced the final eleven for the third Test, making it clear that Rohit will start the innings along with youngster Shubman Gill.

READ: Tim Paine talks strategy against Bumrah & Co. ahead of Sydney Test

Rohit sustained an injury during the Indian Premier League, which ruled him out of the limited-overs series and the first Test. Even though he reached Australia in the second week of December, a strict protocol saw him be under a 14-day quarantine. However, ever since joining the team, Rohit has trained hard and the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has named him the vice-captain for the remainder of the series.

After suffering a humiliating defeat in the first Test in Adelaide, India rode on Rahane's century to level the series at 1-1 at the Melbourne Cricket Ground. While there are challenges in the quarantine rules, Rahane dead batted the issue.

READ: Rahane's hundred one of the greatest in history of India-Australia contests

India suffered blow ahead of the third Test as Umesh Yadav was ruled out due to injury. "Umesh has been our main bowler and has done really well for us. It's unfortunate that he got injured, we will definitely miss him and Shami. It gives other guys a chance to do well at the highest level. Jasprit and Ashwin have done really well so far. It's not about one or two individuals, it is about the team. As  a team, we are going to do well. I am happy with Mohammad Siraj, the way he bowled in the last game. When Umesh got injured, the way he stood up was exceptional. Jasprit has been really good for us too."

For the last few days, the cricketing fraternity was abuzz with the alleged bio-bubble breach by five Indian players - including Rohit. But that episode hasn't had an impact on the team's preparations.

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