After many a debate and speculation, India on Friday put all discussions to rest by announcing their playing XI for the Boxing Day contest against Australia starting on Saturday (December 26) at the Melbourne Cricket Ground.
India made four changes to the line-up they fielded in Adelaide last week. Top-order batsman Shubman Gill and fast bowler Mohammad Siraj will make their debut in the longest format, while wicketkeeper-batsman Rishabh Pant and all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja have also been included. KL Rahul, though, is one of the talked-about names to miss out.
Indian skipper Virat Kohli, fast bowler Mohammad Shami, wicketkeeper Wriddhiman Saha and 21-year-old opener Prithvi Shaw are the four players who have been replaced.
While Shaw and Saha have been dropped based on their recent form, Shami suffered a fracture in his right hand while Kohli has flown back to India to attend the birth of his first child.
Shubman Gill is set to play at his customary position, where he will open the batting with Mayank Agarwal. Stand-in skipper Ajinkya Rahane and Hanuma Vihari are expected to move up a slot, while Rishabh Pant will fill in the No. 6 position followed by the two all-rounders in Jadeja and Ravichandran Ashwin.
India’s playing XI for the Boxing Day Test
Mayank Agarwal, Shubman Gill, Cheteshwar Pujara (vc), Ajinkya Rahane (c), Hanuma Vihari, Rishabh Pant (wk), Ravindra Jadeja, Ravichandran Ashwin, Umesh Yadav, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammad Siraj
Published 25 Dec 2020, 12:04 IST