Why Steve Smith eligible for captaincy while David Warner got lifetime leadership ban, asks Ian Chappell
Alongside vice-captain Pat Cummins, the 31-year-old Smith seemed to be a front runner if Paine is to be replaced as Test skipper as a fallout of Test series loss to India.
It took 32 years and two months, but the unthinkable was achieved as an injury-ravaged young Indian team beat Australia by three wickets against all odds to take the series 2-1.
Steven Smith and Marnus Labuschagne were batting on 30 and 19 respectively at the break.
The Indian team on Saturday lodged an official complaint after the crowd at the SCG racially abused pacers Jasprit Bumrah and Siraj over the second and third day of the Sydney Test.
The off-spinner has dismissed England's Alistair Cook nine times while he has dismissed Ben Stokes on seven occasions in the longest format of the game.
Veteran Warner missed the first two Tests in Adelaide and Melbourne with a groin injury and his return was highly-anticipated. But he didn't last long, out for five.
Warner had missed the first two Tests with a groin injury he picked in the preceding ODI series played in November.
'Warrior' David Warner very likely to play through pain, Will Pucovski set for debut in Sydney: Justin Langer
Langer also announced that young batsman Will Pucovski will make his Test debut on Thursday.
Warner believes that it's more about India bowling doing well than anything lacking in Smith's approach as he has left no stone unturned in terms of preparation.
Natarajan, after a hugely successful IPL, joined the Indian contingent as a net bowler but has subsequently risen up the ranks to make his ODI and T20 International debuts.
A big concern will be whether he can dive or stretch on his left and right while taking catches and field at leg slip or leg gully when off-spinner Nathan Lyon is in operation.
Australia opener David Warner on Friday greeted his fans on New Year by mimicking Tamil superstar Rajinikanth.
India vs Australia third Test: David Warner a big inclusion for us if he does come back in, says Marnus Labuschagne
Australian batsman Marnus Labuschagne is looking forward to the return of David Warner for the third Test against India.
The third Test is scheduled to be played in Sydney from January 7-11.
Adam Gilchrist is confident that David Warner will compete in the Sydney Test but is not sure if Will Pucovski would make his debut.