India have dominated Australia ever since the start of Border-Gavaskar Trophy

India have dominated Australia ever since the start of Border-Gavaskar Trophy

India have dominated Australia ever since the start of Border-Gavaskar Trophy

Australia could have achieved the feat as early as during their trip in 2000-01 as the then world champions were leading a three-match series 1-0 and were cruising towards a 2-0 result at Eden Gardens before VVS Laxman played one of the iconic innings in the history of Indian cricket.

Now he returns to the same venue with India having a wonderful chance to win a Test series in Australia for the first time.

"It doesn't for me personally", he said on whether preventing an India series win was his key motivation. It's got nothing to do with proving we have done something which hasn't been done in the past. "I think the way he's handled the last month or so has been exemplary, it's a real credit to him".

This first consideration for both the teams would be the fitness of their pace bowlers.

"It's just team balance really", he said.

India skipper Virat Kohli said he was "very disappointed" Ashwin was set to miss the final match of the series but barely an hour later, the spinner's name was included on the squad list tweeted by the BCCI. We'll have a final look at the wicket and we'll have our last chat then.

Australia's Aaron Finch is set to pay the price for his poor form
ASANKA BRENDON RATNAYAKE APAustralia's Aaron Finch is set to pay the price for his poor form

They are contemplating changes to the batting line-up however as Aaron Finch could be sacrificed or drop down the order and Mitch Marsh could also make way with Peter Handscombe and Marnus Labuschagne candidates to come into the side with the latter's spin being an attractive option to Paine.

Irrespective of the result of the toss, India will rely on their premier batsmen Virat Kohli, Cheteshwar Pujara and Ajinkya Rahane, as they are the only batsmen with an average of 25-plus in India's away Test wins in 2018 among players who were part of at least three Test wins. A insane selection choice, given Mitch Marsh couldn't find a run in Melbourne, might have been bringing in the next-best batsman in the country.

Paine said it was crucial that the batsmen play their part in Sydney, with none of them getting more than 50 in Melbourne with the exception of tailender Pat Cummins.

The counter to that argument would be the preference to go "horses-for-courses" under the Kohli-Ravi Shastri regime; Kohli did go 38 Tests without naming an unchanged XI before the Southampton Test during the tour to England.

"That's something we've spoken about and something we are really keen to improve and address".

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