Boxing Day Debut for Gill, Siraj; 4 Changes for India at Melbourne

Wicket-keeper batsman Rishabh Pant has also got the nod ahead of Wriddhiman Saha for the Boxing Day Test.

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Cricket
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Shubman Gill is among India’s options as opener for the Australia Tests.
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On the eve of the Boxing Day Test at Melbourne against Australia, the Indian cricket team have announced their playing XI for the game. The Ajinkya Rahane led side have made four changes and will be handing two debuts.

Shubman Gill and Mohammed Siraj will be making their debuts in Test cricket and the team have also brought in a fit-again Ravindra Jadeja.

Wicket-keeper batsman Rishabh Pant has also got the nod ahead of Wriddhiman Saha for the Boxing Day Test.

However, limited-overs vice captain KL Rahul does not get the nod as was being speculated and Hanuma Vihari retains his spot for Melbourne.

Interestingly, in 2018, India had a debutant at the MCG for the Boxing Day Test too in Mayank Agarwal, who now takes over the role of senior opener after making his chances count. Before Mayank, it was Hrishikesh Kanitkar and KL Rahul who were the other Indian cricketers to make their debut at the Boxing Day Test in Melbourne.

India, who are being led by Rahane for the rest of the Australia tour, had announced their playing XI on the eve of the Adelaide Test as well.

India were forced into two changes for this game in the absence of Virat Kohli and Mohammed Shami and have also dropped the out-of-sorts opener Prithvi Shaw, with Wriddhiman Saha being the fourth casualty.

On Christmas eve, the Australian coach Justin Langer confirmed the playing XI for the hosts, saying they would remain unchanged from the first Test.

“I’d be a pretty courageous man to change the XI for this Test match after the last one,” said Langer.

“So at this stage, unless something happens over the next few days, and it can happen in the world we live in, we’ll go in with the same XI, I’d say.”

Australia currently lead the four-match Test series 1-0.

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