India takes on Australia in the second Test of the Dettol Test series on Boxing Day at the MCG. The match will be played with the red ball, and so will the other games in the series.
Australia comes into this game after a thumping victory over India in the Day-Night Test at Adelaide. After conceding a lead of 54 runs in the first innings, the Aussie pacers decimated the Indian batting lineup and sending them back to the pavilion for just 36 runs.
Skipper Tim Paine played a crucial counter-attacking knock in the first innings. Then Pat Cummins and Josh Hazlewood took charge in the second bowling innings and wreaked havoc. Coach Justin Langer confirmed that the side would play the same XI for this match as well.
India, meanwhile, will look to assert, not only to the millions of fans back home but to themselves, that what happened in Adelaide was a blip. They'll have to do so without skipper Virat Kohli who has returned to India after the first Test. With Ajinkya Rahane as skipper, India is expected to make a slew of changes to their playing XI, with the likes of Shubman Gill and KL Rahul likely to get a look-in.
The cricketing fraternity and experts alike are divided about what the outcome of the series will be. Will India be able to make a comeback or will the hosts prove too hot to handle?
Date: December 26- 30, 2020 (Saturday- Wednesday)
Time: 05:00 AM (IST), 11:30 PM (GMT)(previous day), 10:30 AM (Local)
Venue: Melbourne Cricket Ground, Melbourne.
The match will see some change in the weather on different days. Some showers are expected on Day 1 and some more on Day 2, while the rest of the days shouldn't have any interruptions.
The wicket at the MCG should be a pretty balanced one. Often criticized for being a bit too flat, recent times have seen the wicket have a lot in it for the bowlers, especially the pacers. While it will be easier to score runs, the batsmen will have to be wary of the threat that the pacers possess.
Australia has confirmed that they'll field the same playing XI for the Boxing day Test.
Predicted XI: Matthew Wade, Joe Burns, Steve Smith, Marnus Labuschagne, Travis Head, Cameron Green, Tim Paine(C/WK), Nathan Lyon, Mitchell Starc, Pat Cummins, and Josh Hazlewood
India should make a handful of changes to their lineup for this game. Shubman Gill is likely to replace Prithvi Shaw in the team, while KL Rahul is in line to come in for Virat Kohli. Mohammed Siraj is likely to edge out Saini as Shami's replacement, while Rishabh Pant could get a look-in.
Predicted XI: Shubman Gill, Mayank Agarwal, Cheteshwar Pujara, KL Rahul, Ajinkya Rahane, Hanuma Vihari, Rishabh Pant/ Wriddhiman Saha(WK), Ravichandran Ashwin, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Siraj, and Umesh Yadav.
While they will no doubt look to provide a fitting reply, an Indian team without Virat Kohli won't find it easy to turn this around. Given how confident their bowlers bowled, one would back the hosts to go 2-0 up.
Prediction: Australia to win.
TV and live streaming details
TV: Sony Sports Network
Live Streaming: Sony LivPublished 24 Dec 2020, 21:47 IST