Team India has handed debut caps to Shubman Gill and Mohammed Siraj for the Boxing Day Test as they look to bounce back in the Border-Gavaskar Trophy. Ravindra Jadeja, who missed the first Test owing to injury has also returned to the playing XI while KL Rahul will still have to wait for his opportunity.
Meanwhile, the visitors will miss the service of regular skipper Virat Kohli, who has travelled back to India to be with his wife Anushka Sharma as they expect the birth of their first child. On the other hand, senior pacer Mohammed Shami has been ruled out of the entire series owing to a fractured arm from a blow he suffered during the first Test. It will take at least six weeks for the fast bowler to recover and return to action.
Gill, Siraj to make India debut
Gill has been one of the consistent performers in domestic cricket and was due for an opportunity. He replaced Prithvi Shaw at the top of the order, who had a dismal run in the first Test in Adelaide returning with scores of 0 and 4. On the other hand, Siraj has been knocking the gates for a couple of years now.
The young pacer lost his father just when he landed in Australia but decided to stay and live his father’s dream. He will hope to make the most of the opportunity and deliver the goods in the absence of Shami. The young bloke has got the reward for his hard work and determination.
— BCCI (@BCCI) December 25, 2020
Indian team management has gone for Rishabh Pant ahead of Wriddhiman Saha, who failed to live up to the expectations in Adelaide. All hopes will be pinned on Pant, who had a good run in 2018-19 as the visitors look to bounce back in the series. Ravindra Jadeja has already made a return to the playing XI after missing the first Test due to concussion and hamstring injury.
Meanwhile, this will be the last opportunity for Hanuma Vihari, who retains his place in the playing XI ahead of KL Rahul. The batsman from Andhra had a mild outing in Adelaide and will hope to bounce back in the upcoming matches.
The Boxing Day Test commences from December 26 (Saturday) at the Melbourne Cricket Ground.
India’s playing XI for Boxing Day Test:
Ajinkya Rahane, Mayank Agarwal, Subhman Gill, Cheteshwar Pujara, Hanuma Vihari, Rishabh Pant, Ravindra Jadeja, Ravichandran Ashwin, Umesh Yadav, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Siraj
more to follow..