Border-Gavaskar Trophy 2020-21: Gill and Siraj to debut in 2nd Test, KL Rahul left out
India is trailing the four-Test series for the Border-Gavaskar Trophy 0-1 after losing the opening day-night Test by eight wickets. India is without skipper Virat Kohli, who is on paternity leave, while seamer Mohammed Shami has been ruled out with a wrist fracture.
Team India has announced its playing XI for the Boxing Day Test against Australia at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG), starting Saturday. India is trailing the four-Test series for the Border-Gavaskar Trophy, having lost the opening day-night Test in Adelaide by eight wickets.
The playing XI would see twin debuts for Team India, with young opener Shubman Gill coming in for Prithvi Shaw, while seamer Mohammed Siraj comes in for an injured Mohammed Shami. It would also see the return of all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja, who comes in for regular skipper Virat Kohli.
Shaw has been left out owing to a series of poor runs, in warm-ups, as well as in Adelaide. Meanwhile, Shami has suffered a wrist fracture, leading him to miss out on the series remainder. As for Kohli, he has flown back to India on paternity leave.
The other interesting inclusion was that of Rishabh Pant, in place of Wriddhiman Saha, as the latter failed to get going in Adelaide. However, what was baffling to see was Pant getting the nod ahead of KL Rahul, who has been the man in form, of late, especially in the limited-overs.
Meanwhile, India's tactic of going in with three seamers seems intriguing, as the MCG track is not so spin-friendly. Thus, instead of two spinners, many had expected the side to move in with four pacers.
India's confirmed playing XI: Mayank Agarwal, Shubman Gill, Cheteshwar Pujara, Hanuma Vihari, Ajinkya Rahane (c), Rishabh Pant (wk), Ravindra Jadeja, R Ashwin, Umesh Yadav, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Siraj.