Rahane plays down boycott fears, happy with XI for third test

RESENDING WITH COMPLETE SHOT LIST AND SCRIPT

VIDEO SHOWS: NEWS CONFERENCE WITH INDIAN CRICKET CAPTAIN AJINKYA RAHANE / B-ROLL OF INDIA NET SESSION AT THE SYDNEY CRICKET GROUND AHEAD OF THIRD TEST

SHOWS:

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA (JANUARY 6, 2021) (REUTERS - ACCESS ALL)

1. INDIAN CRICKET PLAYERS WALKING FROM AND GETTING OFF BUS

2. VARIOUS OF INDIAN PLAYERS AND OFFICIALS INSPECTING PITCH

3. INDIAN PLAYERS BATTING IN NETS

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA (JANUARY 6, 2021) (BCCI - ACCESS ALL)

4. (SOUNDBITE) (English) INDIAN CAPTAIN AJINKYA RAHANE SAYING ON CONCERNS OVER THE FOURTH TEST GOING AHEAD:

"See, as players we are just just focusing on this Test match. BCCI and team management, they will take the decisions. For us, as players, it is all about giving our best on the field. Test match is starting tomorrow so we are just focusing on the Test match and we want to do well as a team...do well as a team and win the Test match."

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA (JANUARY 6, 2021) (REUTERS - ACCESS ALL)

5. INDIAN CRICKETER KARTIK TYAGI BOWLING

6. INDIAN CRICKETER RAVINDRA JADEJA PADDING UP

7. VARIOUS OF RAVI ASHWIN BOWLING

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA (JANUARY 6, 2021) (BCCI - ACCESS ALL)

8. (SOUNDBITE) (English) INDIAN CAPTAIN AJINKYA RAHANE SAYING ON WHETHER INDIA WERE UNHAPPY AT HAVING TO QUARANTINE:

"We all are prepared, we just want to play some good cricket. As I said earlier quarantine life is definitely it's a challenge especially when you know that in Australia and Sydney especially the life is normal, and the players are stuck in the room, which is okay. We know how to handle it we are prepared to any kind of situation as a team. We just want to do well starting from tomorrow be in the moment and play some good cricket so that's what we are just focusing on."

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA (JANUARY 6, 2021) (REUTERS - ACCESS ALL)

9. VARIOUS INDIAN PLAYERS IN NETS

10. INDIAN CRICKET COACH RAVI SHASTRI WATCHING TRAINING

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA (JANUARY 6, 2021) (BCCI - ACCESS ALL)

11. (SOUNDBITE) (English) INDIAN CAPTAIN AJINKYA RAHANE SAYING ON ROHIT SHARMA RETURNING:

"See, firstly we all are really excited to have him back on the team. I think especially his experience at the highest level which matters a lot. Talking about his batting, he is batting really well in the nets, he had (inaudible) seven net sessions, came to Melbourne started his practice straight away when the test match go over, started his practice straight away and I think he's been batting really well. Rohit you know, in the last couple of series he's been batting as an opener, so you'll definitely see Rohit at the top."

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA (JANUARY 6, 2021) (REUTERS - ACCESS ALL)

12. VARIOUS OF INDIAN CRICKET PLAYER ROHIT SHARMA BATTING

13. JADEJA BATTING

14. SHARMA HITTING BALL

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA (JANUARY 6, 2021) (BCCI - ACCESS ALL)

15. (SOUNDBITE) (English) INDIAN CAPTAIN AJINKYA RAHANE SAYING:

"See Umesh (Yadav) definitely is our main bowler, our quality bowler and he's been doing really well for us, and it is unfortunate that he got injured. We will definitely miss him and Mohammed Shami but that gives opportunity to other guys to do come here and do well at the highest level. Jasprit (Bumrah) and (Ravi) Ashwin have been doing really well so far for us, but again, as I said, it's not about one or two individuals it's all about bowling unit, it's all about team. And we as a team, we all want to do well. And I'm really happy for Mohammed Siraj, especially the way he bowled in the last game especially when Umesh got injured in the second innings, the way he actually stood up. Jasprit we we all know he's been really good for us, but yeah I think Mohammed Siraj was really exceptional."

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA (JANUARY 6, 2021) (REUTERS - ACCESS ALL)

16. TYAGI BOWLING

17. VARIOUS OF INDIAN CRICKET PLAYER BATTING

18. INDIAN CRICKET PLAYERS TRAINING

STORY: India's stand in captain Ajinkya Rahane said his focus was on winning the third test rather than any talk of boycotting the fourth when he spoke to the media on the eve of the Sydney match on Wednesday (January 6).

There are reports that India are unhappy with having to quarantine if the fourth test does go ahead in the Queensland city of Brisbane. However Rahane said he would leave things to the BCCI to sort out, and just wanted another strong showing in third test.

The series is delicately poised at 1-1, with India recovering from slumping to 36 all out in a first test thrashing to win comfortably in Melbourne and square the series.

Rahane confirmed that a fit-again Rohit Sharma will replace struggling opener Mayank Agarwal and fast bowler Navdeep Saini will make his test debut for India in at the Sydney Cricket Ground on Thursday.

Rohit returns after recovering from a hamstring injury which kept him out of the limited-overs series in Australia as well as the first two tests in Adelaide and Melbourne.

The 33-year-old from Mumbai will partner Shubman Gill at the top after Agarwal's meagre aggregate of 31 runs in four innings made his place in the playing XI untenable.

Rohit will also be deputy to Rahane.

India have also lost the services of frontline pacers Mohammed Shami and Umesh Yadav through injuries since levelling the series 1-1 in Melbourne.

Saini's debut means Jasprit Bumrah will lead an inexperienced three-pronged pace attack which also includes one-test old Mohammed Siraj.

(Production: Iain Axon)