Gill will open the batting in place of Prithvi Shaw, who struggled in the Adelaide Test, managing only 0 and 4. Siraj, on the other hand, replaces Mohammed Shami, who has been ruled out of the remainder of the Border-Gavaskar Trophy because of a fractured arm.
While Gill and Siraj will make their Test debuts on Boxing Day, they have already represented India in the shorter formats. Gill has played three ODIs for India while Siraj has turned out in one ODI and three T02Is for the country.
Two players making their Test debuts together is a rare occurrence. Let's have a look at the last time two Indians debuted together in a Test match.
A story of two remarkable Test debuts and one historic series
Eden Gardens, November 2013 was the last instance of two Indian cricketers making their Test debuts in the same match.
It was the first Test of a two-match series between India and West Indies. Rohit Sharma, by then an accomplished limited-overs batsman, and Mohammed Shami, a tearaway fast bowler from Bengal, were handed their India whites.
Both Sharma and Shami had Test debuts to remember. After West Indies elected to bat first, Shami finished as India’s most successful bowler, picking up 4 for 71 in the first innings. His pace was right up there, but it was his ability to bowl deadly yorkers that caught the eye.
Three of Shami’s four victims in the first innings were bowled, including Marlon Samuels and Denesh Ramdin. In the second innings, he claimed his maiden five-for to bowl India to an innings victory. Shami’s ability to reverse swing was evident in his very first Test, as he claimed three more scalps in the second innings.
Like Mohammed Shami, Rohit Sharma also had a sensational Test debut. Batting at number six, the Mumbai batsman hammered 177 off 301 deliveries. He looked in no trouble at all against a hapless West Indian bowling attack, smashing 23 fours and a six.
Sharma looked set for a double century on Test debut. However, that was not to be, as he was trapped lbw by Veerasammy Permaul, after not offering a shot to one that pitched around off and turned slightly away. The right-hander though walked off to generous applause from the Kolkata crowd.
In the next Test in Mumbai, Shami picked up only two wickets, but Sharma smashed his second hundred in as many Tests, helping India to an innings victory.
The occasion was extra special, as the series marked the farewell of the legendary Sachin Tendulkar, who signed off with 74 in his final innings on his home ground. Shami and Sharma played their part in making Tendulkar’s farewell a memorable one with their amazing Test debuts.
It remains to be seen what Gill and Siraj have to offer when they enter the Test arena on Boxing Day.Published 25 Dec 2020, 16:13 IST