File photo of Indian Test Cricket team. Photograph:( ANI )
Leading 2-1 in the four-match series, India remain firm favourites to make it 3-1 despite the fresh injuries woes that ruled out pacer Ishant Sharma and ace spinner R Ashwin.
India’s pursuit of history reaches Sydney as Virat Kohli’s men will enter the ground as favourites against Australia in the fourth and final Test in Sydney on Thursday
Leading 2-1 in the four-match series, India remain firm favourites to make it 3-1 despite the fresh injuries woes that ruled pacer Ishant Sharma and ace spinner R Ashwin in doubt.
Before the final clash, let's take a look at the previous record of India ta Sydney ground.
Australia have hosted India Since 1947-48 and barring four occasions in 1947, 1986, 1992 and 2015 which were drawn, the visitors have lost the game played at Sydney.
A total of 11 games have been played so far between the two sides at the Sydney cricket ground and the 12th one will be played tomorrow.
India have won only one match at the SCG — when they won the fourth Test of the series in 1978 to level it up 2-2 before losing the final match. BS Chandrasekhar, Bishan Singh Bedi and EAS Prasanna combined to take 16 out of the 20 wickets in that match as India defeated Australia by an innings and two runs.
Another unforgettable game at Sydney came in 2003 - 2004, as Australia have been pushed to the brink of a series defeat. India won the toss and posted a mammoth 705-7 before declaring their innings. The total was underpinned by a 353-run partnership between Sachin Tendulkar (241) and VVS Laxman (178), setting up a potential match and series win.
Hundreds from current coach Justin Langer (117) and Simon Katich (125) helped Australia to 474. This meant India still had a good lead, which they extended thanks to half-centuries from Rahul Dravid and Tendulkar. But the absence of an off-spinner stung India once again as Langer, Matthew Hayden and Simon Katich made decent scores. But it was captain Steve Waugh who top-scored with 80 in the very last innings of his illustrious Test career as the match ended in a thrilling draw. The series was split 1-1.
In India’s last match in Sydney in 2015, batsman KL Rahul, who might return to the squad for the fourth test after being given rest in third game, scored a century as an opener. It was a high-scoring draw with Australia making 572/7 (decl.) and 251/6 (decl.) after winning the toss and batting first. India made 475 thanks to Rahul and Kohli’s centuries in the first innings and drew the match after scoring 252/7 in their second innings.
The Sydney ground is India’s favourite batting venue in Australia historically, as the batsmen average 34.96 per wicket.
It was, also Sachin Tendulkar’s favourite hunting grounds. On 5th January 1992, Tendulkar scored his second century in Test matches, hitting an unbeaten 148 against Australia in Sydney. Coming in to bat at No. 6, the 18 year-old went on to become the youngest batsman to score a century in Australia.