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IND v AUS 2020: Sunil Gavaskar suggests major changes for Team India in the Boxing Day Test

KL Rahul and Shubman Gill are likely to get a look into the Indian team for the Boxing Day Test.
KL Rahul and Shubman Gill are likely to get a look into the Indian team for the Boxing Day Test.
Modified 21 Dec 2020, 16:30 IST

Former Indian skipper Sunil Gavaskar believes Team India need to make atleast a couple of changes in their playing XI for the Boxing Day Test in Melbourne.

Opener Prithvi Shaw was terribly out of form in the first Test at the Adelaide Oval. He was dismissed in similar fashion in both the innings, and did not look ready for the Australian pace challenge.

Sunil Gavaskar believes Shaw needs to head back to the drawing board and the experienced KL Rahul should replace him at the top of the order.

KL Rahul's Test record in Australia has been modest to say the least. Although he has a century to his name, he has scored only 187 runs in the five Tests he has played Down Under.

However, Sunil Gavaskar thinks Rahul's scintillating white-ball form can help him deliver consistently for India in red-ball cricket.

India will also be without skipper Virat Kohli for the rest of the series, as he is heading back to India on paternity leave.

Gavaskar has backed young Shubman Gill to replace the 32-year-old in the batting line-up. Gill looked good in the practice games against Australia A and Gavaskar feels he can make an impact for the Men in Blue.

“India will look at making 2 changes. Firstly, maybe Kl Rahul should replace Prithvi Shaw as an opener. At No. 5 or No. 6, Shubman Gill should come in. His form has been good. Things can change if we start well,” Sunil Gavaskar told Sports Tak.

India have to believe they can come back in the Test series: Sunil Gavaskar

Mayank Agarwal is dejected after being dismissed by Josh Hazlewood in Adelaide
Mayank Agarwal is dejected after being dismissed by Josh Hazlewood in Adelaide

At the end of day two of the first Test, Team India had a 62-run lead and looked set to reach a competitive total. However, what followed was an unbelievable batting collapse, as the Men in Blue were bowled out for just 36 runs - their lowest Test total ever.

As a result, Australia won the first Test by eight wickets and took a 1-0 lead in the Border-Gavaskar Trophy.

While Team India's morale will be at an all-time low after the humiliating defeat, Sunil Gavaskar stated that the side should still have faith in themselves.

He feels India should think positively and believe that they can still make a strong comeback in the series.

“India should start the Melbourne Test well, it’s necessary for them to step onto the ground with a lot of positivity. Australia’s weak point is their batting,” Sunil Gavaskar said.
“India have to believe that they can come back in the remainder of the Test series. If India don’t find the positivity, then there 4-0 series loss can happen. But if they have positivity, why not? It can happen (comeback). It’s natural that there is anger after such a performance. But in cricket, anything can happen,” Sunil Gavaskar added.

The Men in Blue will also be without the services of Mohammed Shami, as he fractured his wrist in the first Test while facing a short ball from Pat Cummins.

With notable absentees in both the batting and bowling departments, Team India will need to find some inspiration to come up trumps against a rampant Australian team.

Published 21 Dec 2020, 16:30 IST
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