Ajinkya Rahane is all set to lead the Indian test team in the absence of Virat Kohli in the final three tests against Australia. Meanwhile, BCCI has named a new vice-captain for the rest of the test matches against Australia. BCCI have appointed Chetshwar Pujara as Rahane’s deputy after the latter was elevated to captaincy in Kohli’s absence. The Boxing-Day Test match starts from Saturday with India trailing the series 1-0.
Ajinkya Rahane and Cheteshwar Pujara are the two most experienced batsmen in the Indian squad in Kohli’s absence. Both did not have an outing as per their standards in the first test and would look to count on this opportunity. Both of them scored ducks in the second innings of the Adelaide test which saw India register their lowest-ever test score. India’s batting collapse in that innings was hugely criticised by the world over.
BCCI Appoints Cheteshwar Pujara As Vice-Captain
Cheteshwar Pujara will be the vice-captain of the Indian test side for the very first time. He is the most senior team member in the current test squad. He has played 78 test matches since making his test debut in 2010 vs Australia.
— BCCI (@BCCI) December 25, 2020
Meanwhile, the BCCI announced India’s playing XI for the second test earlier today. Shubman Gill and Mohammed Siraj are part of the playing XI. Both will be making their debut together in Melbourne. Among the other changes, Rishabh Pant has been included in place of Wriddhiman Saha and Ravindra Jadeja has replaced Virat Kohli in the line-up. Many expected Jadeja to come in for Hanuma Vihari, which would also open up an opportunity for KL Rahul to find a place in the team but that did not happen.
Jadeja’s inclusion in the playing XI allows India to go in with five specialist bowlers which will allow them to rotate all the bowlers accordingly. Jadeja’s exploits with the bat in the recent past also will be an important factor behind him providing more balance to the side.