After suffering a humiliating 8-wicket loss in the Border-Gavaskar Trophy opener, India lock horns with Australia in the 2nd Test at the Melbourne Cricket Ground. The 2nd Test starts on 26th December, and will be a day encounter played with the red ball.
India will be without the services of captain Virat Kohli, who is flying back home to attend the birth of his first child. Mohammed Shami was struck on the arm while batting in the second innings, and has been ruled out of the series with a fracture.
The visitors may opt to make other changes as well, with Prithvi Shaw and Wriddhiman Saha failing to impress in the pink-ball game. We might see young Shubman Gill handed a maiden Test cap, while pacers Navdeep Saini and Mohammed Siraj may also be in line to make their red-ball debut for the country.
KL Rahul is expected to be the straight replacement for the Indian captain, but whether he opens the innings or bats in the middle order remains to be seen.
Australia, on the other hand, have a settled combination. Joe Burns made a welcome return to form in the second innings of the 1st Test, and hit the winning runs to justify the backing given to him by coach Justin Langer. David Warner might be fit for the 2nd Test, but being 1-0 up in the series, the hosts will be careful not to rush him in.
IND v AUS 2020, 2nd Test: Predicted playing XIs of India and Australia
India's predicted playing XI for the 2nd Test: Shubman Gill, Mayank Agarwal, Cheteshwar Pujara, KL Rahul, Ajinkya Rahane (c), Hanuma Vihari, Rishabh Pant (wk), Ravichandran Ashwin, Jasprit Bumrah, Umesh Yadav, Mohammed Siraj
Australia's predicted playing XI for the 2nd Test: Joe Burns, Matthew Wade, Marnus Labuschagne, Steve Smith, Travis Head, Cameron Green, Tim Paine (c, wk), Pat Cummins, Mitchell Starc, Nathan Lyon, Josh HazlewoodPublished 21 Dec 2020, 12:38 IST