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IND v AUS 2020, 2nd Test: India's predicted playing XI

Australia are 1-0 up in the 4-Test series
Australia are 1-0 up in the 4-Test series
Sai Krishna
Modified 21 Dec 2020, 14:29 IST

Low on confidence and without two of their biggest stars, India take on Australia in the 2nd Test of the Border-Gavaskar Trophy at the Melbourne Cricket Ground.

Virat Kohli will head back home to attend the birth of his first child, while Mohammed Shami has been ruled out of the remainder of the series with a fractured arm. Rohit Sharma has landed in Australia, but is still in quarantine and will be available only for the final two Tests.

India, under stand-in captain Ajinkya Rahane, are expected to make a number of personnel changes - some enforced and others due to lack of form. Here is their predicted playing XI for the 2nd Test against Australia.

Openers: Mayank Agarwal, Shubman Gill

Mayank Agarwal failed to impress in the 1st Test
Mayank Agarwal failed to impress in the 1st Test

Mayank Agarwal was one of the star performers of India's tour of Australia in 2018-19, and has been one of the Test team's first-choice openers since. However, in the 1st Test, the Karnataka-born batsman failed to impress.

Agarwal was beaten all ends up by a Pat Cummins inswinger in the first innings before nicking off against Josh Hazlewood in the second. With his foot movement and intent coming under question, he'll need to put in an improved showing ahead of Rohit Sharma's return.

Prithvi Shaw managed scores of 0 and 4 in the 1st Test, and he is bound to lose his place in the Indian team due to his consistently poor form. He could be replaced by Shubman Gill in the playing XI, but whether the Punjab-born batsman will open is yet to be ascertained.

KL Rahul and Hanuma Vihari are the other contenders to open the innings, although it's likely that Gill will walk out alongside Agarwal. The 21-year-old was impressive as an opener (or a No. 3) in the warm-up games, and will want to make the most of his Test debut for India.

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Published 21 Dec 2020, 14:29 IST
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