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Wednesday, January 20, 2021

What lies ahead for Team India – Difficult venues lie between Ajinkya Rahane’s men and WTC summit

India need at least a win and a draw to climb to the top of the World Test Championship points table. Sydney and Brisbane are the venues of the next two Tests.

By: Sports Desk | Updated: December 31, 2020 7:40:35 am
indiaAjinkya Rahane led India to victory in the second Test with a gritty 112. (File)

India can climb to the top of the World Test Championship (WTC) table if Ajinkya Rahane’s men can follow up on their dominating win in Melbourne with wins in Sydney and Perth in the 3rd and 4th Tests next month.

The series, currently tied at 1-1, will decide which team is at the WTC summit. Whichever team wins the series is ensured top spot. If it is a draw, Australia will hold on to their lead and India will remain second. New Zealand and England are third and fourth.

But what do the records bode for what will happen in the next two matches? How well have the tourists performed in Sydney and Brisbane, the venues of these encounters?

Australia are on top spot at the moment because they have a higher win percentage.

Mark Waugh said after the 1st Test, in which Australia bowled India out for 36 in their second innings: “Adelaide was the Test that they could win on paper and with Virat Kohli here for just the one Test. I thought the conditions would suit them.” He also said India were likely to get blanked in the series, which prediction has already been proved wrong by Rahane’s men in Melbourne.

Sydney has seen 12 India vs Australia Tests. Australia have won 5, India have won 1 and there have been 6 draws.

The one match India won here was as far back as in 1978, but it was won by an innings. Gundappa Viswanath top scored for India and the spin trio of Erapalli Prasanna, Bishan Singh Bedi and Bhagwath Chandrashekhar dismantled the Aussie batting order twice.

READ | Sydney Test: Where will Rohit bat? Who gets the axe between Agarwal and Vihari?

Since then though, no match has gone the tourists’ way. The last match with a result at this ground was in 2012, when Australia had won, also by an innings.

As for Brisbane, the records are even more imposing. India have played here six times and have never won. There has been one draw and five defeats.

India are scheduled to travel to Sydney on January 4 for the 3rd Test of the series. Star batsman Rohit Sharma is set to join the team this week.

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