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In Pics: Rohit Sharma Hits the Nets in Melbourne Ahead of Sydney Test

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In Pics: Rohit Sharma Hits the Nets in Melbourne Ahead of Sydney Test
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India may have done well to come back from a demoralising defeat in Adelaide and get a massive win over Australia at Melbourne but the top order remains something of a worry. Dropping Prithvi Shaw for Shubman Gill worked wonders in the second Test but the sketchy form of Mayank Agarwar means the visitors have enough cause for concern going into the third Test. Luckily for team management, Rohit Sharma's hard quarantine is now over and the seasoned opener is not only back training but also hit the nets recently and will give the side an option atop the order should they choose to go that way.

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In Pics: Rohit Sharma Hits the Nets in Melbourne Ahead of Sydney Test
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Rohit Sharma was on Friday appointed the vice-captain of the Indian Test team for the first time in his career, replacing Cheteshwar Pujara, who was entrusted with the responsibility for the Boxing Day Test in Melbourne. After regular captain Virat Kohli went on paternity leave after the first Test in Adelaide, Pujara was named Ajinkya Rahane's deputy for the second match. However, it is learnt that the team management was always clear that once Rohit is fit and able to join the squad, he will be Rahane's deputy.

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In Pics: Rohit Sharma Hits the Nets in Melbourne Ahead of Sydney Test
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Rohit completed his 14 days of hard quarantine in a Sydney apartment only a few days back and has joined the squad in Melbourne on Wednesday. He received a warm welcome from one and all. It is still not clear whether Rohit will prefer opening the innings alongside Shubman Gill, with Mayank Agarwal being dropped from the playing eleven due to his prolonged bad patch, or bat in the middle-order in place of Hanuma Vihari, who looks like a certain casualty in terms of team combination.

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In Pics: Rohit Sharma Hits the Nets in Melbourne Ahead of Sydney Test
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Rohit has started training from Thursday and the full fledged session of the Indian contingent after new year break will start from Saturday. Rohit has scored 2141 runs in 32 Tests at an average of 46 plus. He has six hundreds in his kitty with the best of 212 against South Africa in 2019. The Indian team will be leaving for Sydney on January 5 for the New Year's Test which is scheduled to start on January 7.

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In Pics: Rohit Sharma Hits the Nets in Melbourne Ahead of Sydney Test
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Rohit was appointed the vice-captain of the Indian Test team for the first time in his career, replacing Cheteshwar Pujara, who was entrusted with the responsibility for the Boxing Day Test in Melbourne. After regular captain Virat Kohli went on paternity leave after the first Test in Adelaide, Pujara was named Ajinkya Rahane's deputy for the second match. However, it is learnt that the team management was always clear that once Rohit is fit and able to join the squad, he will be Rahane's deputy.

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In Pics: Rohit Sharma Hits the Nets in Melbourne Ahead of Sydney Test
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It is still not clear whether Rohit will prefer opening the innings alongside Shubman Gill, with Mayank Agarwal being dropped from the playing eleven due to his prolonged bad patch, or bat in the middle-order in place of Hanuma Vihari, who looks like a certain casualty in terms of team combination.

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In Pics: Rohit Sharma Hits the Nets in Melbourne Ahead of Sydney Test
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Rohit has started training from Thursday and the full fledged session of the Indian contingent after new year break will start from Saturday. Rohit has scored 2141 runs in 32 Tests at an average of 46 plus. He has six hundreds in his kitty with the best of 212 against South Africa in 2019.

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In Pics: Rohit Sharma Hits the Nets in Melbourne Ahead of Sydney Test
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Meanwhile, India stayed in contention of playing the ICC World Test Championship final next year as they retained their second spot at year-end despite New Zealand beating Pakistan by 101 runs in the first Test at Mount Maunganui on Wednesday. Australia lead the points table with 76.6 % (Percentage of points or PCT) while India are second with 72.2% following their victory in the second Test against Australia at the Melbourne Cricket Ground.

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In Pics: Rohit Sharma Hits the Nets in Melbourne Ahead of Sydney Test
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New Zealand, meanwhile, cemented their position at third and moved a bit closer to India with 66.7%.England (No. 4 with 60.8%), Pakistan (No. 5 with 34.6%) and South Africa (No. 6 with 28%) follow the top three.Sri Lanka are at No. 7 with 26.7%, while West Indies are No. 8 with 11.1%.


Team Rankings

RankTeamPointsRating
1 New Zealand 3198 118
2 India 3765 118
3 Australia 3498 113
4 England 4326 106
5 South Africa 2499 96
FULL Ranking
RankTeamPointsRating
1 England 5405 123
2 India 6102 117
3 New Zealand 3716 116
4 Australia 4344 111
5 South Africa 3345 108
FULL Ranking
RankTeamPointsRating
1 England 6877 275
2 Australia 6800 272
3 India 10186 268
4 Pakistan 7516 259
5 South Africa 5047 252
FULL Ranking