India vs Australia: Team India name playing XI for Boxing Day Test; Openers dropped
The Indian team management named the playing XI for the Boxing Day Test on Tuesday and as reported by Hindustan Times on Monday, there were quite a few changes in the team from the XI that took the field in the second Test in Perth. With both the openers — KL Rahul and Murali Vijay — being dropped, Mayank Agarwal is set to make his debut. All-rounder Ravindra Jadeja also comes in for Umesh Yadav as the thinktank decided to pick a spinner. ODI deputy Rohit Sharma also makes a comeback to the team.
The playing XI for 3rd Test goes: Virat Kohli (C), Ajinkya Rahane (VC), Mayank Agarwal, Hanuma Vihari, Cheteshwar Pujara, Rohit Sharma, Rishabh Pant (WK), Ravindra Jadeja, Mohammed Shami, Ishant Sharma, Jasprit Bumrah.
Former coach Anil Kumble had put his weight behind Mayank going into the historic Test at the Melbourne Cricket Ground. “I would certainly have Mayank Agarwal in the eleven, I think it is nice to get a youngster, kind of energy that you need, we have seen Hanuma Vihari perform, we have seen Kuldeep Yadav perform, we have seen Rishabh Pant perform then why not have Mayank Agarwal in the mix,” Kumble had said to a website.
Rahul and Vijay have been ineffective in the first two Tests and Kumble felt that it is time for a change at the top of the order. In four innings, Vijay had scores of (11 & 18) and (0 & 20) while Rahul has scored (2 & 44) and (2 & 0).
Shastri had himself conceded in the press conference on Sunday that Rahul and Vijay’s form was a concern. “It’s a big concern. It’s obvious that responsibility and accountability has to be taken by the top order. They’ve got the experience, they’ve got the exposure over these last few years to get out there and deliver. It’s about how strong you are in the mind,” he added.
When asked whether Mayank would open the innings in the third Test match after he was called up to replace the injured Prithvi Shaw, Shastri had said the team management will take a call in the next 24 hours.
“Well he’s a good young player, he’s got loads of runs for India A. He’s come through the ranks. When you look at his domestic record, his performances have been as good as anyone. That’s a call we’ll have to take in the next 24 hours,” Shastri had said.