India vs Australia: India announces playing XI for the Melbourne Test
The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has announced the playing XI for the Melbourne Test versus Australia, where they’ve dropped both openers Murali Vijay and KL Rahul. India’s ODI specialist Rohit Sharma and all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja have returned from injury and will be seen in this match, and Mayank Agarwal is set to make his Test debut.
With the four-Test series tied on 1-1, many aspects are riding on the Boxing Day showdown at the Melbourne Cricket Ground where up to 90,000 fans are expected, and India can’t afford another top order flop. Murali Vijay and KL Rahul scored just 95 runs between them in eight innings across the opening two Tests in Adelaide and Perth. They have paid the price with debutant Mayank Agarwal expected to open the batting with Hanuma Vihari or Rohit Sharma.
Experienced No.6 Rohit Sharma was declared fit and resumes his place in the side after missing the Perth Test. But ace spinner Ravichandran Ashwin, who also missed that game, has failed to recover from an abdominal strain, with left-arm spinner Ravindra Jadeja brought in as part of a four-bowler attack.
Here’s the Indian playing XI for the boxing day test: Virat Kohli (C), Ajinkya Rahane (VC), Mayank Agarwal, Hanuma Vihari, Cheteshwar Pujara, Rohit Sharma, Rishabh Pant (WK), Ravindra Jadeja, Mohammed Shami, Ishant Sharma, Jasprit Bumrah.
Australia have also made one change to their playing XI – replacing Peter Handscomb with Mitchell Marsh.
Here’s the final XI for the hosts, revealed by their captain Tim Paine ahead of the Boxing Day Test.
Australia XI: Aaron Finch, Marcus Harris, Usman Khawaja, Shaun Marsh, Travis Head, Mitchell Marsh, Tim Paine (c), Pat Cummins, Mitchell Starc, Nathan Lyon, Josh Hazlewood