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Sydney Test

Steve Smith Overtakes Sachin Tendulkar and Virender Sehwag To Became Fastest Batsman To Score 7,500 Test Runs
Steve Smith. Image Credit: Getty Images.
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Australia vs India 2020-21: Steve Smith Is Under Microscope Than Others: Sports Integrity Expert

Steve Smith’s video of scuffing up Rishabh Pant’s guard during drinks break in the 1st session of Day 5 of the Sydney Test has gone viral on social media. And, netizens were quick to label him a cheater again. Also, this has again brought up the Sandpapergate scandal in the discussion, in which Steve Smith, who was the then captain of Australia, was banned for tampering with the ball against South Africa in 2018.

Although it has been more than two years since that incident, the dark past of Steve Smith has never left him. And, the dots are being connected to the current Sydney Test to easily accuse him of cheating again.

Steve Smith is obviously under a lot of attention by the world media: Darren Murphy

However, Smith has not done anything illegal but questions have raised on his sportsmanship.

Australia vs India 2020-21: Steve Smith Is Under Microscope Than Others: Sports Integrity Expert 1
Steve Smith scuffing up the batting crease. Image Credit: Twitter.

Sports Integrity expert with Cricket Australia Darren Murphy has warned the world-class batsman to be careful of his on-field actions. He stated that whether Smith has done cheating or not but he will always be under the scanner considering he has gone through a dark past.

“With Steve Smith he’s obviously under a lot of attention by the world media and I just think you’ve got to be really careful with how your actions and behaviour are perceived – and he’s under the microscope more than others,” Core Integrity chief executive Darren Murphy told 7NEWS.com.au.

“Whether his actions constitute cheating, it’s not for me to say. (But) once you transgress in a sport, whether it’s for off-field behaviour issue or elsewhere, you’ve got to expect you’re going to be under the microscope.”

Stay away from attacking someone for their race: Darren Murphy

Australia vs India 2020-21: Indian Bowlers Are Playing With Steve Smith And Marnus Labuschange's Mind, Feels Aussie Coach
Ravichandran Ashwin. Image Credit: Twitter.

Besides the accusations on Steve Smith, Australia skipper Tim Paine’s onfield behaviour from Day 5 of the Test was also under the scanner. Paine had a lot of chatter and eventual exchange with India’s Ravichandran Ashwin.
Murphy believes that Paine did not cross a line in his sledging the Indian off-spinner.

“I might be a bit contrarian with my view here but I think the sledging thing has been a bit overplayed if I’m honest. Trash talking and sledging is a common thing in any sport at most levels and I personally don’t think there’s an issue with a bit of trash talk but I think you’ve got to make sure it stays within the bounds.

“Stay away from attacking someone for their race, religion, gender, sexuality and those kind of things and don’t make it too personal, then I don’t think there’s anything wrong with a bit of competitive trash talking,” he added.

Meanwhile, India and Australia will play the last and fourth Test match in The Gabba, Brisbane, commencing from January 15.

Australia vs India 2020-21: Ravindra Jadeja Rushes To Hospital For Scans After Being Injured On Day Three Of Sydney Test
Ravindra Jadeja being treated from Physio. Image Credit: Getty Images.
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Scare Of Ravindra Jadeja’s Ouster From Test Series Following A Possible Facture In His Left Thumb: Reports

India’s prominent contributor with bat and ball, Ravindra Jadeja has suffered a dislocation in his left thumb in Sydney Tests. Although BCCI has not released any official statement, the serious injury will rule him out from the remainder of the series.

According to renowned sport’s journalist Boria Majumdar, the scans reports have stated that Jadeja has dislocated his left-thumb and there can be a possible fracture.

Ravindra Jadeja’s ouster can be a huge blow:

Scare Of Ravindra Jadeja's Ouster From Test Series Following A Possible Facture In His Left Thumb: Reports 2
Ravindra Jadeja. Image Credit: Getty Images.

While batting in the first innings of the third Test in Sydney against Australia, Ravindra Jadeja was hit on the left thumb as he fended at a rising delivery from Mitchell Starc. However, the spin-bowling allrounder continued batting and returned back pavilion unbeaten. He played a fiery knock, scoring 28 runs off 37 balls, comprising of five fours.

Jadeja didn’t return to the field and Mayank Agarwal was fielding in his replacement. Notably, Jadeja had earlier missed the T20I series with a concussion and a hamstring injury.

Earlier, Ravindra Jadeja had given a huge contribution to cut short Australia’s first innings. He notched the crucial wickets of Marnus Labuschagne and Matthew Wade beside sending the tail-enders Pat Cummins and Nathan Lyon early. But the highlight of the innings was his excellent fielding effort which led to the run-out of Steve Smith.

Australia vs India 2020-21: Ravindra Jadeja Rates Steve Smith's Run-Out As His Best Ever Effort
Image Credit: Twitter.

The Aussie batting mainstay, who had already scored the century, was looking for a quick double but Jadeja’s excellent throw at the striker’s end put an end to Smith’s awesome innings. With Smith’s fall of a wicket, the hosts’ first innings also ended for 338 runs.

Currently, Australia has the upper hand in the third Test with the lead of 197 runs at the loss of their two openers.

Australia vs India 2020-21: Pat Cummins Reveals The Plan Of Australia On Day Four
Pat Cummins. Image Credit: Getty Images.
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Australia vs India 2020-21: Pat Cummins Reveals The Plan Of Australia To Bundle Out India On Day Four

After bowling out India for 244 runs on day three, Australia’s bowling machine Pat Cummins reckons the host had a great day with having a big lead of 197 runs. He has revealed that Australia will be looking to bat until two sessions on day three and then have a crack at India in the last innings.

Pat Cummins’, basically, sounds to tire the visitors. If Australia successfully bats for two sessions, the Indian bowlers will be tired while the fielder’s energy will also be down by the time they come for batting in the last session.

pat cummins,
Image Credit: Getty Images.

“It was a good day. Woke up this morning hoping that by the close of the play today we wouldn’t be bowling and then to have a lead of 200 (197 runs), it’s a great day,” Pat Cummins said on Sony Network at the end of Day 3.

“I think the runs (the lead) is probably going to be the most important. At least one and a half to two sessions tomorrow and then probably have a crack at them,” Pat Cummins added.

Pat Cummins gets the wicket of Cheteshwar Pujara for the fourth time in this series:

Cheteshwar Pujara,
Cheteshwar Pujara. Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images

Talking about the third day of the Sydney Test, India were dominant position until the stand-in captain Ajinkya Rahane gave away his wicket to Cummins. The speedster also went on to pick the wicket of India’s wall Cheteshwar Pujara, who scored his slowest fifty in Test cricket. He later than also picked the wicket of Mohammed Siraj.

Apart from Cummins, Hazlewood also got two wickets of and Mitchell Starc took one wicket. Three Indian players were run-out on Saturday to add to the team’s batting woes.

I Couldn’t Sleep And Had To Take A Sleeping Pill – Shubman Gill Before Making His Test Debut
Shubman Gill. Image Credit: Getty Images.
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Australia vs India 2020: Ravindra Jadeja Lauds Shubman Gill For His Maiden Test Half-Century; Hopes He Play A Long Innings In Second Innings

After registering his maiden Test half-century on the second day of the Sydney Test, Shubman Gill has earned the praise from former great cricketers. And, his teammate Ravindra Jadeja is the recent one to sing his praise. He reckons that Gill has the ability to play long innings and hopes that he yields one in the ongoing four-match Test series.

Former Indian greats Sunil Gavaskar and VVS Laxman have labelled Shubman Gill as the bright future of Indian cricket. They are full of praise with the youngster’s execution of shots against strong Australia’s pace trio Mitchell Starc, Pat Cummins and Josh Hazlewood and the spinner Nathan Lyon at their home.

Australia vs India 2020: Ravindra Jadeja Lauds Shubman Gill For His Maiden Test Half-Century; Hopes He Play A Long Innings In Second Innings 3
Shubman Gill. Image Credit: Twitter.

From cover drives to pull a shot, Shubman Gill showed pure class with the bat. Gavaskar has even said that his defence was as good as his attacking which proves him to be one of the brightest prospects.

With his new opening partner Rohit Sharma, Gill took India’s total to 70 before the former was dismissed for 26 by Josh Hazlewood. But Gill carried on went on to register his maiden fifty in the longest format.

Hope he comes good in the second innings as well: Ravindra Jadeja

Australia vs India 2020: Ravindra Jadeja Lauds Shubman Gill For His Maiden Test Half-Century; Hopes He Play A Long Innings In Second Innings 4
Shubman Gill. Image Credit: Getty Images.

During the post-match press conference at the end of day two, Ravindra Jadeja believes that Gill has no technical flaws and has got the temperament to build up long innings.

“I think, he is technically very sound. He has the temperament to play long innings. It’s good that he got a start today, the 70-run opening partnership with Rohit. It’s a good sign for India and hope he comes good in the second innings as well,” Ravindra Jadeja said.

Meanwhile, Ravindra Jadeja picked up four wickets in the day and also got rid of Steve Smith with a sensational run-out. His masterpiece with bowling as well fielding helped Australia to bowl out for 338 in the first innings.

Shubman Gill. Image Credit: Getty Images.
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Australia vs India 2020-21: Shubman Gill Is One Of India’s Brightest Prospects – Sunil Gavaskar

Former Indian captain Sunil Gavaskar has marked Shubman Gill as the bright future of Indian cricket after the opening batsman scored his maiden Test fifty on the second day of the Sydney Test match.

After Prithvi Shaw struggled to get runs in the first Test, Gill was called in as his replacement in the second Test where he missed his half-century by five runs. But finally, he got the fluent fifty decorated with some eye-soothing shots in the third Test in India’s first innings.

Australia vs India 2020-21: Shubman Gill Is One Of India's Brightest Prospects - Sunil Gavaskar 5
Shubman Gill. Image Credit: Getty Images.

Sunil Gavaskar hoped that Gill should have converted the 50 to the century. However, the 71-year-old believes that his innings was enough to prove that he is one of India’s brightest prospects.

“I wish Shubman Gill could have carried on from that half-century to century. What we saw in this innings confirms that he is one of India’s brightest prospects,” Gavaskar said on Sony Network after the end of Day 2 in Sydney.

Shubman Gill’s defence was as good as his Attacking batting: Sunil Gavaskar

Australia vs India 2020-21: Shubman Gill Is One Of India's Brightest Prospects - Sunil Gavaskar 6
Image Credit: Getty Images.

Gavaskar was highly impressed with the way Shubman Gill executed a ray of shots even though he was playing only his second Test. He explained that the youngster’s defence is as good as his attacking batting.

“He got behind the line, he has got wonderful ray for shots, like I said, he played some sparkling and spanking shots but basically, the way he got behind the line of the ball was so, so impressive and that is the thing actually you want to look at opening batsman, how quickly and how confidently they get behind the line of the ball. Shubman Gill’s defence was as good as his Attacking batting and that is why I think he has got a big career ahead of him,” Sunil Gavaskar maintained. 

Apart from individual achievement, Gill with his new opening partner Rohit Sharma stitched India’s first fifty-plus opening stand away from home after 16 innings.

Talking about the match, India is currently trailing by 242 runs and they have lost both the openers.

Australia vs India 2020-21: Excited Tim Paine Had Informed Will Pucovski About His Debut A Couple Of Days Before Sydney Test
Tim Paine and Will Pucovski. Image Credit: Getty Images.
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Australia vs India 2020-21: Excited Tim Paine Had Informed Will Pucovski About His Debut A Couple Of Days Before Sydney Test

Australia’s Test captain Tim Paine could not keep secret with Will Pucvoski that he will be making his debut in the Sydney Test match. He has confessed that he had informed the youngster about his debut a couple of days before the Test.

Will Pucovski had a dream-like start to his Test career. He registered a maiden half-century which was supported by two dropped catches by Rishabh Pant. He rode his luck on a couple of occasions but made 62 crucial runs from 149 deliveries.

Tim Paine Had Informed Will Pucovski About His Debut A Couple Of Days Before Sydney Test

Australia vs India 2020-21: Excited Tim Paine Had Informed Will Pucovski About His Debut A Couple Of Days Before Sydney Test 7
Will Pucovski. Image Credit: Getty Images.

Talking to Cricket.com.au after the end of day one, Tim Paine said he couldn’t lie to the youngster when he inquired him about his debut. The skipper said he was excited to share the happy news for him.

“I might have a little bit of a confession to make actually. Because he (Pucovski) was in my room a couple of days ago and he sort of asked (if he would be making his debut). I couldn’t lie to him. I said, ‘You are playing, but don’t tell anyone.’ So I let it slip, but I was just excited for a mate,” said Tim Paine.

Australia vs India 2020-21: Excited Tim Paine Had Informed Will Pucovski About His Debut A Couple Of Days Before Sydney Test 8
Image Credit: Getty Images.

Andrew McDonald had given the baggy green to Will Puckovski on his debut. It was a proud moment for the Assistant coach as well because he had coached him for three years during his stint with victoria. Tim Paine suggested that Pucovski’s debut was a special moment for McDonald as well.

“He’s (McDonald) gone through a lot with him, in his development, on his Shield debut, and also through a lot of tough times for Will. I know they’ve got a great relationship and it was a really special moment for both of them,” added Tim Paine.

Talking about the Sydney Test’s first day, India has sent both the openers packing on the flat pitch. However, Australia’s two batting mainstays Steve Smith and Marnus Labuschagne are still standing firm at the crease.

Australia vs India 2020-21: Mark Waugh Criticises David Warner After His Early Departure In Sydney Comeback Match
David Warner. Image Credit: Getty Images.
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Australia vs India 2020-21: Mark Waugh Criticises David Warner After His Early Departure In Sydney Comeback Match

Former Australian captain Mark Waugh has heavily criticised David Warner for playing an ‘impatient shot’ in his comeback Test match in Sydney against India. The left-hand batsman is playing the maiden Test of the four-match Test series after being ruled of the first two Tests because of a groin injury.

In the fourth over off Mohammed Siraj’s ball, David Warner tried to play a cover drive but got the outside edge and the bowl flew to first slip where Cheteshwar Pujara was stationed. He safely grabbed the ball to sent Warner early for five runs.

Mark Waugh slams David Warner:

David Warner
David Warner. Image Credits: Twitter

Mark Waugh lashed out at Warner for giving his wicket cheaply. He was disappointed with the shot selection of the southpaw at the early of the first session.

“That’s just a loose shot. That’s not a shot you want to be playing in the first 20 minutes of a Test match. You’re driving on the up, it’s not there to drive and it’s wide as well and you’re throwing your hands at it,” Waugh told Fox Cricket.

David Warner is restricting his moment because he has still not fully recovered from the injury. But Mark Waugh feels that there is no justification for his impatient shot whether he is fit or not.

“Even if his groin was okay, he would have had to take an almighty step to get even close to that delivery. Just an impatient shot really and maybe trying to get runs on the board quickly,” he added.

Australia vs India 2020-21: Mark Waugh Criticises David Warner After His Early Departure In Sydney Comeback Match 9
Credit: Getty Images.

Meanwhile, day one of India ended with Australia putting 166 runs on the board at the loss of two wickets. Had rain not interrupted, the host would have put up 300 runs on board in the flat pitch of Sydney.

The debutant Will Pucovski scored his maiden Test century and stitched up 100 runs partnership with Marnus Labuschagne before losing his wicket.

Virat Kohli's Childhood Coach Believes Rohit Sharma Can Counter Attack Australia With The New Ball
Rohit Sharma. Image Credit: Getty Imaes.
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Virat Kohli’s Childhood Coach Believes Rohit Sharma Can Counter-attack Australia With The New Ball

Virat Kohli’s childhood coach Rajkumar Sharma believes that Rohit Sharma’s addition to the playing XI is a big boost for Team India in the ongoing Test series against Australia. The hitman has replaced Mayank Agarwal in the final XI for the third Test considering the latter had struggled to middle the ball in the first two Tests.

But the questions have raised that whether the selection of Rohit Sharma over Mayank Agarwal is a good decision considering he hasn’t played a Test for over a year. He last played the Test series against Bangladesh at home in November 2019.

In the Test series against New Zealand in 2020, he was ruled out after sustaining a calf injury in the limited-overs leg. Moreover, the Sydney Test will be his first away Test match as an opener. Thus, many doubts about whether he could get better off a strong Australian bowling line up at their home.

Virat Kohli’s Childhood Coach Believes Rohit Sharma Can Counter Attack Australia With The New Ball

Virat Kohli's Childhood Coach Believes Rohit Sharma Can Counter-attack Australia With The New Ball 10
Rohit Sharma. Image Credit: Getty Images.

But Rajkumar Sharma has full faith in Rohit Sharma that he will reign in Australia. He heaped praise on the right-hand batsman, stating that no one can play the hook and pull shot better than Rohit.

“It will be a great boost with the addition of Rohit Sharma as he is a great batsman. No one plays the hook or pull shot better than him in the team. He can counter-attack the Australian pacers with the new ball,” Virat Kohli’s childhood coach Rajkumar said.

Virat Kohli's Childhood Coach Believes Rohit Sharma Can Counter-attack Australia With The New Ball 11

Rohit Sharma has impressed in the net session, whose video has gone viral on social media. He had missed the Adelaide and MCG Test because, following his completion of rehab, he was quarantining in Australia. After testing negative for COVID-19 and following all the COVID-19 procedure, he was available to play the remaining two Test matches.

Currently, the four-match Test series is levelled with Australia winning the opening match while India making a strong comeback in the second Test match. The third Test will begin on January 7 in Sydney.

India vs Australia, 3rd Test: Masks Mandatory for Fans at Sydney Test
Sydney Cricket Ground. Image Credit: Getty Images.
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Australia vs India 2020-21: 3rd Test, Masks Mandatory For Fans At Sydney Test

After a spectator, who attended the MCG Test, has tested positive for the coronavirus, New South Wales Health Minister Brad Hazzard has made masks compulsory for the third Test which will be hosted in Sydney.

Sydney has already witnessed the outbreak of the new coronavirus strain but Cricket Australia has been reluctant to not change the venue. But the strength of the audience in Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG) has been decreased from 50% to 25% which means 10,000 people will be allowed in a ground that can hold 48,000 after an outbreak of COVID-19 in Australia’s largest city.

Australia vs India 2020-21: 3rd Test, Masks Mandatory For Fans At Sydney Test 12
SCG. Image Credit: Twitter

Hazzard said New South Wales had no option but to impose the measure after health officials in Victoria state said a man who attended the second Test might have contracted COVID-19 at the Melbourne Cricket Ground.

“I want to stress that Victoria announcing a new case that they don’t yet know the source of at the MCG is obviously influencing our thinking about what we should be doing to keep New South Wales safe,” Hazzard told a news conference.

“You must wear a mask,” he added. “From the moment effectively you get into the transport to get there, and get into the queue at the front door of the SCG, and go to your seat, and sit in the your seat, you must wear a mask. The only exception to that, if you’re eating or drinking.”

Fans might be fines in Sydney for not wearing masks:

Australia
Australian team. Image Credit: ICC.

Mask-wearing in indoor public spaces was made mandatory in Sydney for the first time on Sunday with fines of A$200 ($155) for anyone in breach of the directive.

“Again, the (health) orders that will be made today will impose a A$1,000 fine on any person who was in that location and who seeks to come to the SCG,” he said.

“I know that’s a tough – it’s a tough ask, but it’s absolutely necessary to keep New South Wales residents safe.”

The Test series between the two cricketing superpowers is drawn 1-1 going into the third match with the fourth scheduled to take place from Jan. 15 in Brisbane.

Australia
Australian team. Image Credit: ICC.
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Australia vs India 2020-21: 3rd Test, Australia Predicted XI

After a humiliating defeat in the second Test, Australia will be desperate to win the third Test against India, which is scheduled to begin on January 7. This thrilling encounter will be hosted by Sydney, which has currently witnessed the outbreak of the new strain of the coronavirus.

Currently, the series is levelled with Australia winning the opening match of the four-match series. They handed over a moral-destroying defeat to India as the visitors registered the lowest-ever Test total i.e, 36. It was said that the defeat would lead to clean sweep by the Australian team.

But Team India, under the guidance of stand-in captain Ajinkya Rahane, bounced back stronger to astonish Australians. They comfortably went on to win the second Test match by eight wickets. The win has balanced the series and the third Test will be crucial for both the teams to gain the lead.

Here, let’s take a look at Australia’s Predicted XI:

David Warner:

David Warner
Joe Burns and David Warner. Image Credit: Getty Images.

Australian team management in the recent interviews has made clear that David Warner will open for them in the third Test even though he is not fully fit.

The left-hand batsman had missed the first two Test matches because of a groin injury which he surfaced during the second ODI.

Will Pucovski:

Australia vs India 2020-21: 3rd Test, Australia Predicted XI 13
Will Pucovski. Image Credit: Getty Images.

Will Pucovski was dropped from the first two Test matches after suffering the ninth concussion during the warm-up games. But he has returned in the squad for the Third Test while Joe Burns has been dropped in his place. He is likely to open the innings for Australia with Warner if he passes all the fitness tests ahead of the third Test.

Marnus Labuschagne:

Australia vs India 2020-21: 3rd Test, Australia Predicted XI 14
Marnus Labuschagne. Twitter

Marnus Labuschagne, who has copied the mannerism of Steve Smith, was the leading scorer for Australia in the past two Test matches. But he had failed to convert his knock to the big one, being two times out when he was close to fifty.

To have the upper hand in the game, Labuschange needs to set himself to play a big knock.

Steve Smith:

steve smith
Steve Smith. Image Credit: Getty Images.

Australia’s batting mainstay Steve Smith had poor outings in the two Tests. In the first Test, Ravichandran Ashwin troubled him and get better of him. After consuming 29 balls, he scored just one run before the leggie sent back him. In the second Test as well, Ashwin got his wicket in the first innings for a duck.

Smith’s confidence will be undoubtedly at rock bottom. But he has the experience of playing 75 Tests and coming back into form is not a big thing for him.

Matthew Wade:

Australia vs India 2020-21: 3rd Test, Australia Predicted XI 15
Matthew Wade (Photo by Lindsey Parnaby / AFP)

Matthew Wade opened the innings with Joe Burns in David Warner’s absence in the last two Tests. He showcased an aggressive brand of cricket. But with the return of the two opening batsman, Wade will also return to his original position is in the middle order.

But to make a place for him, Travis Head, who hasn’t been impressive in Sydney and MCG, will have to be dropped from the playing XI.

Tim Paine (c & wk):

Australia vs India 2020-21: 3rd Test, Australia Predicted XI 16
Tim Paine. Image Credit: Getty Images.

Australia wicketkeeper-batsman Tim Paine scored a crucial half-century in the first innings of the first Test which decreased the lead of the Indian team. But he was disappointed in the second Test in MCG in which he was also given a controversial out.

Being the captain, Paine has the responsibility to play a match-winning knock in Sydney to take the team to the lead.

Cameron Green:

Cameron Green
Cameron Green. Image Credit: Getty Images.

The all-rounder Cameron Green had higher expectations after he played a mature knock in the second innings of the second Test. He scored 45 runs to build up a lead and avoid an inning defeat for Australia.

Apart from batting, he is a useful bowling option. He had bowled in the two Tests but hasn’t picked a wicket.

Pat Cummins:

Australia vs India
Pat Cummins. Image Credit: Getty Images.

Australia’s bowling machine Pat Cummins had exposed Prithvi Shaw and Mayank Agarwal’s flaw which had led to the dropping of both the Indian teams from the playing XI. He had registered a four-wicket haul in the second innings of the first Test match.

Nathan Lyon:

Australia vs India 2020-21: 3rd Test, Australia Predicted XI 17
Image Credit: Getty Images.

Nathan Lyon is now more close to entering the elite list of bowlers having 400 Test wickets in their name. The leg-spinner had picked three wickets in the two Test matches and is in need of six more wickets to achieve the milestone.

Mitchell Starc:

Mitchell Starc,
Mitchell Starc. Image Credit: Getty Images.

In the two matches, the left-arm pacer has got eight wickets, including one four-wicket haul, in his name. Mitchell Starc will have to yield a top-notch performance in the third Test to dismantle India’s top-order, which has a weak middle-order.

Josh Hazlewood:

Josh Hazlewood
Photo Credit: Getty Images.

In the first opening Test victory, Josh Hazlewood also achieved a personal milestone. He became the eighth Australian bowler to have 200 Test wickets in his name. But in the second Test which was in MCG, he hadn’t been at his best as he notched only one wicket.