Forecasts for rain on the first two days of the third Test in Sydney would disappoint the Indian team management that is banking heavily on the third Test at the friendly Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG) surface to take a 2-1 lead and retain the Border-Gavaskar Trophy.
The surface at the SCG is closer to the ones back home and helps the spinners more than any other Australian surface.
While India have won just one Test in Sydney, back in 1978, they have managed to draw five times in 12 matches. Most importantly, against this Aussie team, which is finding it difficult to play spin, R Ashwin and co. would like to have a full five-day contest and not lose any overs due to rain like it happened the last time.
Back in 2019, India had a chance to seal a 3-1 series win, which would have been the first time they won three Tests in a series in Australia. However, rain played spoilsport on the last three days of the fourth and final Test at Sydney.
India had forced Australia to follow on. After making 622/7 declared in the first innings, they bowled out the Aussies for 300 in the first innings.
While 73.3 overs out of the scheduled 90 were possible on the third day, only 25.4 overs were possible on the fourth day. The Aussies, resuming day 4 on 236/6 in 83.3 overs, were bowled out for 300 after playing 21.2 more overs in their first innings. They were then 6/0 in four overs as play was abandoned on day 4.
The fifth day of the Test was washed out, thereby robbing India a chance to win the series 2-1.
The Indians and Australians also endured a bit of rain in Melbourne that hampered their practice sessions.