India named their playing XI on Friday for the second Test against Australia starting December 26 with test debuts handed to Shubman Gill and Mohammed Siraj. Gill comes in for Prithvi Shaw and will likely open the at bat while Siraj replaces the injured Mohammed Shami. Rishabh Pant replaces Wriddhiman Saha behind the stumps, even as Ajinkya Rahane leaves to lead the team in Virat Kohli’s absence. All-rounder Ravindra Jadeja is also included in the XI as India comes in with five Boxing Day bowling options.
– BCCI (@BCCI) December 25, 2020
Mayank Agarwal will most likely have a new opening partner in Gill, even if Cheteshwar Pujara, Rahane and Hanuma Vihari occupy the middle order slots.
Ravindra Jadeja is likely to hit No. 6, followed by wicket-keeper-batsman Rishabh Pant, who enjoyed a superlative move to Australia in 2018/19.
In the absence of Mohammed Shami, who suffered a fracture in his right arm, India has stepped up their bowling move by taking on Jadeja and making a debut to fast bowler Siraj.
Jasprit Bumrah and Umesh Yadav are the other fast bowlers, while R Ashwin is the specialist spinner.
Shaw, who brought back scores of 0 and 4 in the first Test in Adelaide, was dropped while Wriddhiman Saha, a specialist goalkeeper, was in favor of the more aggressive batsman Pant.
Pant collected 350 runs from four tests at 58.33 on the 2018/19 and the Australian record held him in good stead for a place for Saha.
Gill, who scored half a century in the warm-up match in Sydney, will make his Test debut almost two years after making his ODI debut, against New Zealand in early 2019.
He has scored 2,270 runs from 23 first-class matches at 68.78 with seven centuries.
Siraj, who has 152 first-class wickets at 11:44 PM, will make his Test debut after also making his ODI debut against Australia in 2019.
India XI: Mayank Agarwal, Shubman Gill, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane (c), Hanuma Vihari, Ravindra Jadeja, Rishabh Pant (wk), R Ashwin, Umesh Yadav, Mohammed Siraj, Jasprit Bumrah
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