The much-anticipated Boxing Day Test is here. The hosts Australia have made the series riveting with a stellar show performance at Perth. The 146-run win is all that Aussie needed against a strong and top-ranked India. Their bowlers were fired up and ran through the Indian batting on the fifth day in a dreamy manner. With bowlers looking a threat, Aussie appears a far more competitive side.
However, the hosts may make a few changes in the batting, with Peter Handscomb’s place in the side a bit uncertain. Mitchell Marsh may get in for Handscomb, who can roll his arm over to give rest to the pace-trio and can come handy with the bat.
India were lambasted for poor selection as they did not pick any spinner in the XI, and to add salt on the wounds Nathan Lyon was named the man of the match. It doesn’t end here for the tourists, they have plenty of injury concerns and selection issues to address ahead of the third test. Openers are struggling, Prithvi Shaw is out of the series, spinners are doubts and tail has not chipped in with the bat. Can India find all these answers?
However, they can draw inspiration from the last outing here when India played a draw (in 2014) with Kohli (169) and Rahane (147) piling big tons.
Where – Melbourne Cricket Ground, Melbourne
When – 5:00 AM on December 26
Both the sides have announced their playing 11 for the fixture.
Ashwin is not fully fit, while Peter Hamdscomb is dropped from Australian XI.
Mayank Agarwal will debut for India, while other inclusions for India are Ravindra Jadeja and Rohit Sharma.
Australia Squad: Tim Paine (c, wk), Josh Hazlewood (vc), Mitch Marsh (vc), Pat Cummins, Aaron Finch, Marcus Harris, Travis Head, Usman Khawaja, Nathan Lyon, Shaun Marsh, Mitchell Starc
India Squad: 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
AUS Playing 11: Tim Paine (c, wk), Josh Hazlewood, Pat Cummins, Aaron Finch, Marcus Harris, Travis Head, Usman Khawaja, Nathan Lyon, Shaun Marsh, Mitchell Starc, Mitch Marsh
IND Playing 11: 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
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Australia Fantasy Picks
Travis Head, Marcus Harris and skipper Tim Paine are the three Aussie batsmen who have made Indian bowlers to work hard. Nathan Lyon has bagged 16 wickets in the two outings, eight each in two tests.
India Fantasy Picks
Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli and Ajinkya Rahane are the three leading run-getters in the series. Both Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammad Shami have claimed 10+ wickets in the series so far.
Make AUS vs IND Dream11 Team as per your discretion from the squad listed in the article.