India and Australia are going head to head in the Boxing Day test at Melbourne Cricket Ground. Boxing Day is the next day to Christmas and is one of the biggest events for countries that are in holiday mood between Christmas and New Year. The series is tied at 1-1 and both the teams will look to win this game as it will mean that they cannot lose the series.
India is a bit under the weather with injury concerns and the loss of form of both their openers. Murali Vijay and KL Rahul have failed to make a decent mark in the series till now with Rahul getting 48 and Murali Vijay scoring 49 runs in the two tests of the series. The middle form has made runs but apart from Virat Kohli and Cheteshwar Pujara, nobody has looked to get the big score. The bowling has delivered once again in the same manner as it did in South Africa and England.
On the other hand, the Australians are beaming with confidence after the victory in Perth. The bowling was never a question but the batting has performed nicely in the second test. The key to their batting is the start they are given by their openers. Both Marcus Harris and Aaron Finch have rallied together and provided a solid start to Australia.
India has dropped its openers and is giving a debut to Mayank Agarwal. Hanuma Vihari is slated to open but it remains to be seen whether Rohit Sharma who has a splendid record in the white ball format is asked to open. Ashwin has not recovered from his hamstring injury and therefore is not a part of the eleven. Ravindra Jadeja comes as the lone main spinner.
On the other hand, the Australians have brought in Mitchell Marsh in place of Peter Handscomb. Handscomb’s technique was dissected by the Indian pacers as he was not able to capitalise on the starts he had. The added bonus that Australia has with Mitchell Marsh is that he will be their fifth bowler and will give them few overs with the ball. Aaron Finch also has recovered from his finger injury. He was forced to retire hurt in the second innings after a rising delivery from Shami hit him on the forefinger. He has been listed in the playing XI for Australia.
Teams for the Boxing Day test are:
|1||Mayank Agarwal||Aaron Finch|
|2||Hanuma Vihari||Marcus Harris|
|3||Cheteshwar Pujara||Usman Khawaja|
|4||Virat Kohli (Capt.)||Shaun Marsh|
|5||Ajinkya Rahane||Travis Head|
|6||Rohit Sharma||Mitchell Marsh|
|7||Rishabh Pant (Wk)||Tim Paine (Capt. & Wk)|
|8||Ravindra Jadeja||Pat Cummins|
|9||Mohammed Shami||Mitchell Starc|
|10||Ishant Sharma||Nathan Lyon|