India set to start fresh with new openers in Boxing Day Test vs Australia

November 16, 2019 | |Post a Comment

first_imgThere’s a vibe of a fresh start for India in the four-match series as the Boxing Day Test vs Australia approaches. New openers. Three changes. Back to spin. And both captain Virat Kohli and vice-captain Ajinkya Rahane stressing that the past results are in the past and everything is about what happens next.India started the series with a bang as they registered a 31-run win over Australia in Adelaide — a historic victory in the first Test of the series. However, by the second Test the Australians got into the act as well and they carved out a massive 146-run victory at Perth, with the Indian batting line-up looking much troubled.Experts called out for change and ouster of KL Rahul, who has been in a woeful form, and the Indian team management responded — Rahul, Murali Vijay and Umesh Yadav are at bench now while the playing XI included Mayank Agarwal, Rohit Sharma and Ravindra Jadeja.Mayank Agarwal after scoring tons of runs in domestic cricket has finally got a chance in the Indian team while Hanuma Vihari has been confirmed as his co-opener by chief selector MSK Prasad.Vihari to open? The 25-year-old has opened for Hyderabad in domestic cricket and the management sees in him enough technique to put him to face Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazlewood and Pat Cummins with the new ball.Over the last year and a half, the Indian Test team has seen a lot of chopping and changing and one would hope that Agarwal gets a long rope at the top and a solid chance to prove himself. Vihari has already been termed as a “short-term fix” by Prasad and so, his place definitely lies in the middle order.advertisementRohit Sharma has been nothing but rocky but he will get another chance in Melbourne. He played the Adelaide Test that India won but failed to make the best of the opportunity he got and was dropped from the Perth Test. He is back in the team now though he has not been trusted with opening for the team and remains after Kohli in the batting order.In Pujara, Kohli and Rahane, India have a solid middle order and perhaps all that India depend on. While Pujara and Kohli have both scored a hundred in the Adelaide and Perth Test, respectively, Rahane is yet to reach the three-figure mark even as he has scored two half centuries. It will be crucial for India’s chances that Rahane finds it in him to prolong his innings and get those big scores.Ravindra Jadeja has also found a place in the playing XI after much controversy surrounding his injury. Injured or not, Jadeja will come in handy with both his bat and ball at the MCG.India pace unit is perhaps the most settled part of this team — Ishant Sharma, Mohammad Shami and Jasprit Bumrah have been good so far and India would need them to be even better.With the Boxing Day Test just half a day away, Kohli and Rahane have both insisted that India will go in with a fresh slate.”As a team, I don’t think whether you are 2-0 up or 2-0 down or 1-1, what’s happened in the past has no significance at all to what’s going to happen in the next two Tests or what’s going to happen in the next Test which is quite immediate,” Kohli said on the eve of the Test.A day ago, vice-captain Rahane had said, “We will now look at it as a two-Test series going ahead. We got a break after the first two Tests, which was very important because sometimes the intensity of the Test match is too much.”It is the Boxing Day Test – an iconic part of Australia’s cricketing history and one that has yielded exciting matches over the years. One would hope that come Wednesday, an exciting contest begins at the MCG in front of what Kohli expects an “80,000-plus” crowd.Also Read | Tim Paine and I don’t want to do something unnecessary, says Virat KohliAlso Watch | India raring to go with renewed viguour in 3rd Test vs Australia on Boxing DayAlso Read | Merry Christmas: Indian cricket stars spread Christmas cheer in Australialast_img

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