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IND v AUS 2020: Shubman Gill, KL Rahul and Rishabh Pant set to be included in Indian team XI for 2nd Test - Reports

In-form Shubhman Gill is set to replace Prithvi Shaw as the opener in the 2nd Test.
In-form Shubhman Gill is set to replace Prithvi Shaw as the opener in the 2nd Test.
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Modified 20 Dec 2020, 18:36 IST
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Shubman Gill, KL Rahul and wicketkeeper Rishabh Pant are all set to be in the Indian team's eleven for the 2nd Test against Australia. Pacer Mohammed Siraj is also in the fray for his Test debut as a replacement to now ruled-out Mohammed Shami, according to a report in The Times of India.

The Indian team suffered two major collapses in Adelaide, both after skipper Virat Kohli’s dismissal. As Kohli is also set to leave Australia, the Indian team will have to make two forced changes. Other than these, the management will make a couple of additional substitutions. 

The report says KL Rahul will replace Kohli in the middle-order. KL Rahul’s batting position is not certain, though, as the management is also mulling shifting Ajinkya Rahane up the order.

For Shami’s replacement, the Indian team had a couple of options in the squad – Navdeep Saini and Mohammed Siraj.

The former’s blunt performances in the warm-up have meant that RCB pacer Siraj can make his debut in Melbourne. Siraj picked up 5 wickets in the two tour games. Overall, he has 152 wickets in 38 first-class matches at an average of 23.44.

Prithvi Shaw and Wriddhiman Saha set to be dropped from the Indian team's lineup

Both Prithvi Shaw and Wriddhiman Saha had a dismal outing in the first Test. While Shaw found his technique exposed to Australia's pace-pack, Saha failed to grab his opportunities and played poor shots at crucial junctures in the game.

If the report is to be believed, Shaw was preferred above Shubman Gill despite his poor showing in the warmups as he was the Indian team's opener in New Zealand in January. The management wanted him to give him one more Test match.

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The duo are expected to get the ax and youngster Gill and Rishabh Pant will replace them in the squad. Gill has a brilliant average of 68 in first-class cricket and also scored 43 and 65 in the practice games.

Although earlier he was being mooted as a number 6 batsman or Kohli's replacement at number 4, he looks set to open the innings.

On the other hand, Pant will head to the side with a majestic 73-ball hundred against Australia 'A' to back him. The 23-year-old wicketkeeper is also one of the 2 Indian players who scored a hundred while averaging above 50 in Australia in 2018.

Gill, Rahul, and Pant's addition can provide the depleted line-up with much-needed aplomb. Whereas Siraj will get one more opportunity to shrug off his poor performances in international cricket for the Indian team.

Published 20 Dec 2020, 18:36 IST
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