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India vs Australia, Second Test, Match Preview  

India and Australia will lock horns in the Boxing-day Test of the Border-Gavaskar Trophy 2020-21. Australia has already taken a 1-0 lead in the series after a dominant bowling display in Adelaide. 

Match Timings: Dec 26, 5:30 AM IST 

Team Preview 

The Boxing Day Test between India and Australia will kick start on Saturday, and it will be an intense game as Team India would look to bounce back after the shameful defeat in Adelaide. The injuries will hurt both teams in this crucial Test. 

How India will bounce back from the disaster in Adelaide remains a question in MCG. Ajinkya Rahane will lead the side in Virat Kohli's absence, who left the team due to paternity leave. Rahane will have immense pressure to script a comeback for Team India. Rahane has led Team India twice in the Test format, and on both occasions, India emerged winners. In 2017, Rahane led India against the Aussies at home and helped Men in Blue to win the series 2-1. This time, the situation is quite different, and India would need to form confidence ahead of Boxing Day. 

Team management will make various changes in the playing XI. Gill may replace Prithvi Shaw, and Jadeja will come in place of Virat Kohli. Jadeja would be an excellent option with both bat and ball. Kohli tried only four bowlers in the first Test, so Jadeja will give the 5th bowling option here. Shami has been ruled out of the series, and India would go ahead with Mohammed Siraj, who had good numbers with the red ball. There were some speculations to drop Hanuma Vihari from the eleven but he would be retained and KL Rahul would be ignored. Saha would also be dropped, and Pant can find a place in the playing XI. In the absence of Kohli, Pujara and Rahane have to fire with the bat. Both had a good start in the first innings but didn’t convert into big. The opening slot will be a tough call, and management will try debutant Gill in the opening. The task to outclass Aussies in MCG isn’t so easy, and India have to play out of its skin to equalise in the series. 

Meanwhile, Australia are highly boosted after a pure bowling carnage from its pacers. They snatched the victory in just one session. Australia will miss its prominent opener David Warner who has been ruled out of the entire series. It means Justin Langer would go ahead with the same playing XI. Joe Burns would be retained after scoring a half-century in 2nd innings. Australia are entering as the favourites, and they know India’s struggle against moving-ball, Tim Paine would attack with pacers in this Test too. 

Australia’s success would rely on Starc, Hazlewood, and Cummins. Smith and Labuschagne didn’t offer much with the bat, but Australia managed to get the victory. The batting debacle in the first innings is a severe concern for Aussies, and they fell short of 53 runs from India’s 1st innings total. Paine played a fine knock of 73 runs and added vital runs with the tail. They also struggled against the spin, and Ashwin made them suffer. If India survives the scar of Adelaide and don’t repeat the struggle against moving ball, it will be a cracking contest, and we may expect the thrill for all five days. 

Pitch Report 

MCG is a competitive Test surface, and the long boundary will test the batsman’s caliber. It provides a good balance between bat and ball. Pacers will take early help from the pitch, and later, batsmen will enjoy the game. There is no extra help to spinners on this surface. 

Weather Report 

The weather in Melbourne is sunny on Saturday, and there is a rain prediction on Sunday. The temperature will be around 23 degrees on all five days. 

Possible XI 

India 

Mayank Agarwal, Shubman Gill, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane, Hanuma Vihari, Rishabh Pant, Ravindra Jadeja, R Ashwin, Jasprit  Bumrah, Umesh Yadav, Mohammed Siraj 

Australia 

Joe Burns, Matthew Wade, Marnus Labuschagne, Steven Smith, Travis Head, Cameron Green, Tim Paine (c & wk), Pat Cummins, Mitchell Starc, Nathan Lyon, Josh Hazlewood

Key Players 

India 

Cheteshwar Pujara

Border-Gavaskar Trophy 2018-19 – M: 4, Runs: 521, Avg: 74.43   

Adelaide Test 2020 – 43, 0 

Ajinkya Rahane

WTC 2019-21 – M: 10, Runs: 757, Avg: 54.07 

Australia 

Steve Smith

WTC 2019-21 – M: 10, Runs: 1030, Avg: 68.66  

Pat Cummins

WTC 2019-21 – M: 9, Wickets: 56 Avg: 20

MyTeam11 Desk
MyTeam11 Desk
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