The BCCI has announced the playing XI for the second Test between India and Australia, which will be played at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) from Saturday (December 26). Shubman Gill and Mohammed Siraj have been slated to make their Test debuts, while Rishabh Pant and Ravindra Jadeja too force their way back into the team.
India captain Virat Kohli has returned home for the birth of his first child, his deputy Ajinkya Rahane will take charge of the team in his absence. Rahane has led India in two Tests so fat – against Australia in 2017 at Dharamsala and against Afghanistan in 2018 in Bangalore – both of which he won.
Siraj comes into the team in place of Mohammed Shami, who has been ruled out of the series due to a fractured arm. While opening batsman Prithvi Shaw too has been dropped after a poor performance at Adelaide, making way for his Under-19 World Cup winning teammate Gill to take his place.
Jadeja, who had suffered a concussion in the T20I series will not just partner Ravichandran Ashwin, but could also be a handy batsman at No. 7. With Gill most likely to open, we could see Rahane push himself to No. 4 with Hanuma Vihari bat at No. 5
India lost the first Test at the Adelaide Oval by eight wickets after getting bowled out for an embarrassing 36 in the second innings. India registered a comprehensive 137-run victory at the MCG when they played Australia last year.
India's XI for MCG Test: Mayank Agarwal, Shubman Gill, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane (c), Hanuma Vihari, Rishabh Pant (wk), Ravindra Jadeja, Ravichandran Ashwin, Umesh Yadav, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Siraj