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2nd Test: Australia Elect to Bat; India Playing Gill, Pant, Siraj

Tim Paine has won the toss and elected to bat first in the second fixture of the four-match Test series vs India.

Updated
Cricket
2 min read
Ajinkya Rahane is captaining India with Virat Kohli having returned home to India after the first Test.
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It’s the Boxing Day Test and Australian captain Tim Paine has won the toss and elected to bat first in the second fixture of the four-match Test series against India.

Australia are playing an unchanged XI while India, who announced their squad on the eve of the match, are playing two debutants - batsman Shubman Gill and fast bowler Mohammed Siraj.

This is the first time in seven years -- since November 2013 -- that India handed out two debut caps in one match. In 2013, the two players making a debut together were Rohit Sharma and Mohammed Shami.

Right-handed batsman Gill, who had made 127 runs in the two warm-up games, will open the innings alongside Mayank Agarwal. Gill, who has played three ODIs, replaces Prithvi Shaw in the playing XI. Shaw had come under severe criticism following his failure in the pink-ball Test which India lost by eight wickets.

Wicketkeeper Wriddhiman Saha, who returned with scores of 9 and 4 in the first Test, has been replaced by Rishabh Pant.

All-rounder Ravindra Jadeja comes into the side after clearing a fitness test on Thursday. Jadeja had injured his hamstring during the first T20I against Australia, minutes before he'd received a blow to the helmet from a Mitchell Starc delivery which led to a concussion. The team management had at that point recommended a three-week recovery period for the all-rounder.

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Right-arm fast bowler Siraj, who has played one ODI and three T20Is, comes into the side in place of Mohammad Shami who has been ruled out of the series because of an injury. Shami, 30, suffered a fracture on his bowling hand after he was hit by a ball from Australia pace bowler Pat Cummins during India's second innings in the Adelaide Test.

Ajinkya Rahane is leading the Indian side in the absence of Virat Kohli who has returned home for the birth of his first child. Cheteshwar Pujara will serve as his deputy.

India's Playing XI

Ajinkya Rahane (captain), Mayank Agarwal, Shubman Gill, Cheteshwar Pujara (vice-captain), Hanuma Vihari, Rishabh Pant, Ravichandran Ashwin, Umesh Yadav, Ravindra Jadeja, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammad Siraj

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