After one of the worst years in Australian cricket history our Test outfit is hoping for a change in fortune in its first appearance in 2019.
The Border-Gavaskar trophy may be lost, but there’s a monumental difference between a 3-1 series defeat and a 2-2 tie — and Tim Paine’s team will be desperate to square up with India in the final match of the series at the SCG.
Unfortunately for the hosts the early signs weren’t good as run machines Cheteshwar Pujara and Virat Kohli combined to blunt the Aussie attack and steer India to 2/11 at tea.
Indian skipper Virat Kohli won the toss and chose to bat — a disastrous result for the hosts given his record of 18 wins and three draws from 21 matches after winning the toss.
Both teams made two changes as Australia recalled Marnus Labuschagne to bat at three and Peter Handscomb at six.
At lunch India was 1/69.
Puajara has proved to be India’s immovable object this series and the trend continued in Sydney as he took 134 balls to raise his bat.
Labuschagne was brought into the team because selectors valued his part-time leg-spin on what they expected to be a spin-friendly SCG deck but the Indians had no trouble playing his erratic first over.
At tea India was 2/177.