Border-Gavaskar Trophy 2020-21: Gill, Rahul and Pant likely to get the nod for Boxing Day Test
First Published Dec 20, 2020, 5:16 PM IST
India is off to an unwanted start in the Border-Gavaskar Trophy, having lost the opening day-night Test in Adelaide. India would be looking to win the upcoming Boxing Day Test in Melbourne to level the series and stand a chance to retain the title.
After a horrific outing in the opening day-night Test in Adelaide, India would be looking to brush aside the rustiness and get things back on track for the upcoming Boxing Day Test in Melbourne from Saturday. However, it would be interesting to see if India sticks with the core team, or shuffle it for better performance and result.
The Indians would be missing the services of skipper Virat Kohli, who is flying back to India on paternity leave. As Ajinkya Rahane takes over the reins for the remaining three Tests, it would be intriguing to see what new changes does he and the team management come up with, as they trail in the series.
Meanwhile, if reports are to be considered authentic, it is likely that wicketkeeper-batsman Wriddhiman Saha and young opener Prithvi Shaw could be axed. Shaw was horrific in both the innings, managing just four runs, while Saha could manage only 13 in the same.
Therefore, it is likely that the side could move in with more batting power and attacking options, in the form of young opener Shubman Gill, and wicketkeeper-batsmen KL Rahul and Rishabh Pant. Also, Mohammed Siraj could be in the reckoning for a seemingly injured seamer Mohammed Shami.
"Look, our committee was clear that Rishabh Pant will be our first choice keeper in places like England and Australia. Only when we are looking at matches in India where you don't need batting after number six most times, you can have a specialist keeper," former chairman of selectors, MSK Prasad, was quoted as saying by PTI.
"I believe Rishabh has worked on his fitness issues during the past month and looked in good touch during the pink ball practice game. So, I would agree with the team management if they give Rishabh a go for the next three Tests," added Prasad.
Prasad also feels that fast-bowling all-rounder Hanuma Vihari could be promoted up the order. "Vihari has a very sound technique and temperament and he can serve this Test team for a long time. In absence of Virat, it would be a great opportunity for him and KL (Rahul) to stand up and be counted," he continued.
"I would prefer Vihari batting at No. 4 or 5 in the next few Tests and face the challenge. He is a gutsy boy and I have confidence that he will do well if given the challenge. KL can be a good No. 6 in this series," he concluded.
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