Ahead of the iconic Boxing Day Test, Australia are high on confidence after a stunning win in Adelaide. Despite conceding a sizeable first-innings lead, the hosts came back strong to skittle out Team India for a paltry 36 in the second innings to clinch the pink-ball Test under three days.
Despite their convincing win, Australia have room for improvement, especially in the batting department, as Joe Burns and Matt Wade are short of runs at the top of the order. However, with Tim Paine finally getting some runs under his belt, the hosts will fancy their chances of continuing their winning momentum at the MCG.
India, on the other hand, will be massively disappointed after their horror show in the second innings in Adelaide. To compound their woes, captain Virat Kohli and Mohammed Shami won't be available for the rest of the series.
The visitors have made four changes to their team after their Adelaide debacle. Shubman Gill and Mohammed Siraj are set to make their Test debuts. Ravindra Jadeja is back in the playing XI; Wriddhiman Saha has made way for Rishabh Pant, and Ajinkya Rahane will lead the team.
While both teams have injury concerns, Australia wear a more balanced look to their side, with their pace trio of Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazlewood and Pat Cummins in fine form. Nevertheless, a cracker could be expected when two formidable Test teams lock horns at the iconic MCG.
Squads to choose from:
Tim Paine (C), Joe Burns, Cameron Green, Will Pucovski, Steven Smith, David Warner, Marcus Harris, Travis Head, Marnus Labuschagne, Michael Neser, Moises Henriques, Matthew Wade, Pat Cummins, Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazlewood, Nathan Lyon, Sean Abbott, James Pattinson and Mitchell Swepson.
Ajinkya Rahane (C), Mayank Agarwal, Prithvi Shaw, KL Rahul, Cheteshwar Pujara, Hanuma Vihari, Shubman Gill, Rohit Sharma, Wriddhiman Saha, Rishabh Pant, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Shami, Umesh Yadav, Navdeep Saini, Kuldeep Yadav, Ravindra Jadeja, Ravichandran Ashwin, Mohammed Siraj.
Joe Burns, Matt Wade, Steve Smith, Marnus Labuschagne, Travis Head, Cameron Green, Tim Paine (Captain and Wicketkeeper), Pat Cummins, Nathan Lyon, Mitchell Starc and Josh Hazlewood.
Shubman Gill, Mayank Agarwal, Cheteshwar Pujara, Hanuma Vihari, Ajinkya Rahane (Captain), Rishabh Pant (Wicketkeeper), Ravindra Jadeja, Ravichandran Ashwin, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Siraj and Umesh Yadav.
Match: Australia vs India, 2nd Test
Date: 26th December 2020, at 5:00 AM IST
Venue: Melbourne Cricket Ground, Melbourne.
A flat deck is expected at the MCG for the second Test between Australia and India. However, some movement is likely to be available off the deck. While the initial phase against the new ball could be tough for both teams, batsmen should feel at ease in the middle once they get themselves set.
The spinners are expected to have a say in the proceedings, as the pitch tends to wear out. Nevertheless, the captain winning the toss could look to bat first, as the conditions are expected to improve for the bowlers as the game progresses.
Australia vs India Dream11 Fantasy Suggestions
Fantasy Suggestion #1: Matt Wade, Marnus Labuschagne, Steve Smith, Ajinkya Rahane, Ravi Ashwin, Cameron Green, Cheteshwar Pujara, Pat Cummins, Josh Hazlewood, Jasprit Bumrah and Umesh Yadav.
Captain: Steve Smith. Vice-Captain: Ajinkya Rahane.
Fantasy Suggestion #2: Rishabh Pant, Joe Burns, Steve Smith, Mayank Agarwal, Ravi Ashwin, Nathan Lyon, Cheteshwar Pujara, Pat Cummins, Mitchell Starc, Jasprit Bumrah and Umesh Yadav.
Captain: Pat Cummins. Vice-Captain: Steve Smith.Published 25 Dec 2020, 14:51 IST