Sydney Test: Injuries cloud India's pursuit for history

Pat Cummins has taken 14 wickets in the series so far

Pat Cummins has taken 14 wickets in the series so far

While Kohli during his pre-match press conference claimed that he was not focussing on creating history by becoming the captain of an Indian team which is the first to win a Test series Down Under, the final scoreline in India's favour will surely place in him in an enviable league.

The SCG will be bathed in pink in support of Glenn McGrath's Cancer Foundation as the two teams will step out for the last Test of the Border-Gavaskar trophy, which regardless of the result of this match will remain with India.

A series win in Australia will certainly put Kohli on a different pedestal even though the quality of the home team's batting line-up suffered due to the ball-tampering bans on former skipper Steve Smith and his deputy David Warner.

No Indian team has ever won a Test series against Australia in Australia but that may change after the final Test of the ongoing four-match series at the Sydney Cricket Ground.

The "Will he? Won't he?" saga around whether Ravichandran Ashwin might return for the decisive test aside, the tourists, as England in 2011, looked in confident mood as they trained under bright blue Sydney skies.

Kohli, whose single century in the series alone betters the entire Australia effort, took questions about where a series triumph would rank in his own glory-filled career as well as in the annals of his country's cricketing history.

"Whilst there is going to be times that Mitch is going to go out and have to score runs at No.6 from 4-60, you'd hope he isn't going in then as often as he is at the moment under that sort of scrutiny", Paine said.

"The reason why we want to win this Test is because we understand as cricketers how hard it is to come here and play", he said.

Additionally, one more win will take Kohli ahead of Ganguly, who led India to 11 wins in 28 overseas Tests.

"It's just team balance really".

Middle-order batsman Rohit Sharma, who hit a gritty 63 in the first innings at Melbourne, is not available after jetting back to Mumbai to be with his wife who recently gave birth. His bowlers pick themselves so captain Tim Paine fielded questions about batting permutations should, as has been reported, opener Aaron Finch and all-rounder Mitchell Marsh be dumped for Marnus Labuschagne and Peter Handscomb.

"We're a work in progress", he conceded.

"But we know they've got some other spinners in their squad, Kuldeep is younger but got some serious talent and (Ravindra) Jadeja did the job for them in Melbourne". I think we're showing signs of getting better. And (now) we come back here as the No.1 side in the world.

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