Australia skipper Steve Smith won an important toss and rightfully decided to bat first in the penultimate Test of the four-match series. The Ranchi pitch, which is hosting its first-ever Test, is expected to play low and slow and has been tipped to deteriorate as the game progresses. In such a scenario, the visitors would be keen to gain an upper hand by posting a good total in the first innings.
Talking about the playing eleven, Australia have replaced the injured Mitchell Starc and Mitchell Marsh by Pat Cummins and Glenn Maxwell respectively.
On the other hand, the world number one team has replaced Abhinav Mukund with Murali Vijay who had missed the second Test due to a shoulder injury.
Meanwhile, both the teams will be looking to shift the focus back to cricket after the buildup to the all-important Test was ruined by the DRS controversy. The series is currently locked at 1-1 and the teams would be keen to take an unassailable lead.
India playing XI:
Murali Vijay, Lokesh Rahul, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli(c), Ajinkya Rahane, Karun Nair, Ravichandran Ashwin, Wriddhiman Saha(w), Ravindra Jadeja, Umesh Yadav, Ishant Sharma.
Australia playing XI:
Matt Renshaw, David Warner, Steven Smith(c), Shaun Marsh, Peter Handscomb, Glenn Maxwell, Matthew Wade(w), Pat Cummins, Steve O’Keefe, Nathan Lyon, Josh Hazlewood.
Ground Umpires: Chris Gaffaney and Ian Gould
Third Umpire: Nigel Llong
Match Referee: Sir Richie Richardson