The Boxing Day will see India and Australia lock horns in the 2nd of the four-match Border-Gavaskar Trophy at the Melbourne Cricket Ground starting from December 26 (Saturday). The hosts are currently 1-0 up in the series and the visitors will be desperate to level terms back in the series in Melbourne.
However, India will face a lot of problems going into the contest as they miss the service of regular skipper Virat Kohli and senior pacer Mohammed Shami. They have made a couple of changes including handing debut caps to Shubman Gill and Mohammed Siraj. Rishabh Pant and Ravindra Jadeja also made their way into the playing XI while Wriddhiman Saha and Prithvi Shaw made their way out.
The onus will be on stand-in skipper Ajinkya Rahane and Cheteshwar Pujara to lead the side from the front with the bat while Jasprit Bumrah will be India’s X-factor. The spin duo of Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja will also be key as the visitors will look to exploit Australia’s incapability to tackle quality spin.
On the other hand, Australia will field an unchanged XI for the 2nd Test. Steve Smith, who struggled to fire in the first Test will look to hit the strides. However, Australia will mainly rely on their pace attack comprising of Mitchell Starc, Pat Cummins, and Josh Hazlewood. Indian batsmen will have their task cut out against such a quality attack who knocked them for 36 – India’s lowest ever Test score in the second innings of the first Test.
Australia vs India 2020: 2nd Test at the Melbourne Cricket Ground start from 5:00 AM IST
India – Mayank Agarwal, Shubman Gill, Cheteshwar Pujara, Hanuma Vihari, Ajinkya Rahane (c), Rishabh Pant (wk), Ravindra Jadeja, R Ashwin, Umesh Yadav, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammad Siraj
Australia – Joe Burns, Matthew Wade, Marnus Labuschagne, Steve Smith, Travis Head, Cameron Green, Tim Paine (c & wk), Pat Cummins, Mitchell Starc, Nathan Lyon, Josh Hazlewood
Match Prediction – Who will win the match?
Team India will down in confidence coming into this Test match losing the previous game by eight wickets after getting all out for a mere 36 runs. Moreover, they have managed to secure only three wins from their 13 previous matches at the Melbourne Cricket Ground.
Australia will enter the game as the firm favourites to take an unassailable 2-0 lead in the four-match Border-Gavaskar Trophy. If Ajinkya Rahane & Co have to undo the Aussies winning run, the visitors will have play out of their skins.