India had named their playing XI for the second Test against Australia. The playing XI for the second Test at Melbourne Cricket Ground has been announced on Friday. Shubman Gill, Rishabh Pant, Ravindra Jadeja and Mohd Siraj are in the playing XI for the Boxing Day Test, starting from Saturday. India will be playing without their regular skipper Virat Kohli. Indian vice-captain Ajinkya Rahane will be leading the side in his absence. The team will have two debutants (Shubman Gill and Mohd Siraj) in the team. While Wriddhiman Saha has been replaced by Rishabh Pant and all rounder Ravindra Jadeja is also making a comeback to the Test side.


Prithvi Shaw’s axing was inevitable as he was bowled out for scores of 0 and 4 in two innings of the opening Test at Adelaide. Shubman Gill’s languid approach and that extra second while facing fast bowlers, coupled with a way tighter technique than Prithvi Shaw, might just give the dressing room the confidence required in testing times. Gill and Aggarwal are all set to be India’s new opening pair. Rishabh Pant, whose intent always provides way more assurance than a passive Wriddhiman Saha, is expected to play his fearless brand of cricket which is the need of the hour. Pant was an instant hit during the last tour in 2018-19 but in the past year, had lost both form and confidence to surrender his place in the white-ball formats.Young workhorse Mohammed Siraj will step in temporarily to fill the void created by crafty Mohammed Shami’s injury and it will be about how Rahane, touted as a bowler’s captain, handles him. Earlier in the made, skipper Virat Kohli had made hinted that KL Rahul might not play the first Test. “It all boils down to combination. KL is obviously a quality player. We’ll have to see what combination suits the balance of the side the best. Everyone is playing well, feeling good. We have a lot of quality players. Someone like a Hanuma Vihari as well, has been very solid. He’s someone who has a lot of grit and character as well.”

It sets up to be an exciting contest between the 2 teamn. The first day of the Test match will see bright sunshine but the weather on Sunday is poor with 70 percent chances of rain. As the Test match wears on, the weather is expected to stay cloudy and on the last day, the weather is once again sunny.


India Playing XI: Ajinkya Rahane, Mayank Agarwal, Shubman Gill, Cheteshwar Pujara, Hanuma Vihari, Rishabh Pant, Ravindra Jadeja, Ravichandran Ashwin, Jasprit Bumrah, Umesh Yadav, Mohammed Siraj

By Arvind Krishnan

Cricket writer, statistician and analyst. An unorthodox media student, marketing runs in his blood. Sports Marketer and analyst.