India, Australia switch up opening partnerships for crunch Sydney Test | Daily News

India, Australia switch up opening partnerships for crunch Sydney Test

Sydney, Wednesday: Australia and India will both take new-look opening partnerships into the high-stakes third Test in Sydney, with star players David Warner and Rohit Sharma set to add firepower after injury layoffs.

The cricketing heavyweights head into the clash on Thursday with the series locked at 1-1, with both desperate for a win ahead of the final game in Brisbane next week.

Barring last-minute hiccups, Australia will welcome back veteran Warner with Will Pucovski tipped to make his debut alongside him after Joe Burns was dumped.

There had been speculation that selectors may stick with makeshift opener Matthew Wade even if Pucovski was fully recovered from the latest in a series of concussions.

But skipper Tim Paine hinted the 22-year-old would play, which would see Wade drop back to his favoured number five and Travis Head likely axed.

If Pucovski plays, he can expect a bouncer barrage as India look to unsettle a man who has been concussed nine times already in his career.

But after a neurologist on Monday gave him the all-clear from his latest head-knock, Paine said he had no concerns.

“Will’s been hit in the head a few times, but he plays the short ball really well. And as long as he’s comfortable, then we’re comfortable and so far he’s indicating that he’s good to go.”

India will also have a fresh feel with the big-hitting Sharma back after missing the first two Tests. He injured his hamstring during an Indian Premier League game in October and only joined the squad last week, but will open alongside youngster Shubman Gill, who keeps his spot after an impressive debut in the second Test at Melbourne.

Mayank Agarwal, who has struggled for runs, misses out. AFP