The Test series between India and Australia is squared up at 1-1. Now the iconic boxing day Test arrives, scheduled to begin on December 26. Both the teams have announced their playing XIs for the third Test to be played in Melbourne. There are some significant changes on either side.
Team India has axed both the out of form openers Murali Vijay and KL Rahul. Mayank Agarwal, who was added to the Test squad before the third Test as a replacement for the injured Prithvi Shaw, has been slotted in straight away. Hanuma Vihari, who had batted at number 6 in Perth, will join Agarwal for the opening pair.
Rohit Sharma has been declared fit and makes a come back to the XI. He had missed the Perth test due to an injury. On the other hand, Ravichandran Ashwin has failed to gain full fitness. As a result, Ravindra Jadeja will play the spinner’s role. Jadeja had also missed the Perth Test due to a shoulder strain. But now he is fit and will provide an extra cushion with the bat at number 8.
On the other side, Australia has made just one change. The all-rounder Mitchell Marsh has been slotted in for Peter Handscomb who had failed in the previous 2 Tests.
India’s playing XI for the Boxing Day Test
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
Australia’s playing XI for the Boxing Day Test
Aaron Finch, Marcus Harris, Usman Khawaja, Shaun Marsh, Travis Head, Mitchell Marsh, Tim Paine (c & wk), Pat Cummins, Mitchell Starc, Nathan Lyon, Josh Hazlewood