Prior to the third Test against South Africa, Australia skipper Pat Cummins asserted that the Sydney pitch had a strong relation to Indian conditions, in the hopes of giving his side the greatest possible head start in their upcoming red-ball series in India. Australia will visit India for a four-match Test series as part of the Border-Gavaskar Trophy.
A win at the SCG very probably ensures Australia a place in the World Test Championships final, which will be held at the Oval in June. Australia is presently leading the three-match series 2-0 against South Africa at home. The third and final Test of the series will be played using pink balls at the Sydney Cricket Ground.
In consideration of Australia’s upcoming tour of India, which begins on February 9, where the team has traditionally struggled in subcontinental conditions, the SCG is expected to have a dry, spinning surface.
“It’s a great tie to India. Fast bowling and reverse swing will be used, as we might anticipate in India. We’ll definitely receive more spin overs here, and our hitters will probably confront more spin as well, so it’s a pretty strong relationship. “I think captaining here could be a bit different from the past few Test matches,” Cummins was reported as saying by the Times of India.
Australia currently leads the WTC points standings, having won 10 of 14 Test matches. The Border Gavaskar Trophy will be Cummins and Co.’s last appearance, as well as the Indian team, which is ranked second in the World Team Championship. Australia will be looking to add the WTC mace to their trophy collection before meeting archrivals England in the Ashes.
“It’s been a significant motivation for us over the past couple of years. “I think it’d be incredibly interesting to play in London (in) a final versus India, say, at a neutral stadium,” the pacer said.
Australia might have played in the World Test Championship finals the previous year, but New Zealand snatched the position when Australia was penalised four important points. The two teams met in the 2020 Boxing Day Test, however Australia fell two overs short, prompting the ICC to take drastic action.
“It was still a new notion so even things like overs rates – it wasn’t really talked about as seriously as probably what we think about it today. “I remember we went down to nine minutes down at one point (in a recent Test), so we simply made sure we had Travis Head or ‘Smithy’ (two part-time spin bowlers) as options and we were back inside a couple of overs,” he continued.
“Having narrowly lost out on the World Test Championship final last cycle, it was always going to be a significant aim. I believe we’ve been playing well, putting ourselves in position to earn that slot early, which is a major motivator for us. Going to England and playing an Ashes series is always great, but adding a World Test Championship final is big,” he said.