Australian coach Justin Langer has confirmed that the hosts will face India in the Boxing Day Test with an unchanged XI on Saturday. Australian bowlers wreaked havoc on day three of the pink ball test. Pat Cummins and Josh Hazlewood took nine wickets between themselves in the second innings, as India was limited to 36/9 in their second essay. Langer said Australia will go for the second test with the same playing XI unless and until something happens in the coming days.
“I’ll be a pretty brave man to change the playing XI of this test match after the last one. Unless something happens in the next few days and it can happen in the world we live in, but we’re going with the same XI,” Langer said in a virtual press conference on Thursday.
Cricket Australia has confirmed that the attendance numbers for the Boxing Day Test between India and Australia have increased to 30,000 per day. Previously, only 25,000 fans were allowed in the MCG for Boxing Day Test every day, but Cricket Australia has confirmed the increased capacity.
Langer expressed his happiness at the staging of Boxing Day amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Thirty thousand (crowd) is better than none. And it wasn’t that long ago, probably a few weeks ago, that we wondered if we had a Boxing Day Test match in Melbourne. Every time I come here I squeeze myself the MCG I come here often. It’s just a great stadium, the hype about it and guys love to play here, “said Langer.
“The Indians will love it, probably many would have dreamed of playing a test match here and thirty thousand is better than none and it certainly sets the mood,” he added.
Also, the player of the second Test match between Australia and India will receive the Mullagh Medal named after the legendary Johnny Mullagh.
The medal, entitled ‘Mullagh Medal’, is named after the Australian Indigenous side skipper who toured the UK in 1868. It was the first organized group of Australian sports teams to tour internationally.
Meanwhile, David Warner and Sean Abbott have been banned from the second Test against India.
Australia is likely to play XI: Joe Burns, Matthew Wade, Marnus Labuschagne, Steve Smith, Travis Head, Cameron Green, Tim Paine (c, wk), Pat Cummins, Mitchell Starc, Nathan Lyon, Josh Hazlewood.
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