Get breaking news alerts from myKhel

India vs Australia, 3rd Test: Playing XI: Mayank Agarwal set to make debut, Rahul, Vijay dropped

India announce Playing XI for Melbourne Test

Melbourne, December 25: Mayank Agarwal is all set to make his Test debut as India announced their Playing XI for the Boxing Day Test starting here on Wednesday (December 26). India dropped openers KL Rahul and M Vijay for this Test after making just 48 and 44 runs respectively in the last four innings.

With Agarwal, an opener from Karnataka, certain to start at the pole position India have the option of using either Hanuma Vihari or Rohit Sharma as opener, though as things stand now the former is likely to walk out along with Agarwal. R Ashwin continues to be on the sidelines owing to a "left-sided abdominal strain." Here's a look at India's Playing XI for the Melbourne Test.

1. Mayank Agarwal

1. Mayank Agarwal

The Karnataka opener has been knocking on the doors since a record-breaking last season when he scored upwards of 2000 runs. Agarwal came close to getting national call during India's tour of England earlier this year but Vihari got the first preference and made his debut at the Oval. Agarwal now has become the 26th player from Karnataka to make his Test debut.

2. Hanuma Vihari

2. Hanuma Vihari

Vihari has not scored big but he has impressed with his compact technique at Perth. He hardly looked hustled by bowlers or occasion. However, Vihari does not have any notable track record as opener and it remains to be seen as how will he adjust to the demands of opening role.

3. Cheteshwar Pujara

3. Cheteshwar Pujara

Pujara has been doing fine on this tour of Australia getting runs and looking solid. India will expect another rock solid effort from the Saurashtra man to resist the Australian fast men on a Melbourne pitch that may have something for the bowlers.

4. Virat Kohli

4. Virat Kohli

After a modest outing at Adelaide, Kohli found his range at Perth with a sublime hundred. And Kohli will be stinging after that 146-run defeat at the Optus Stadium. He will be looking to continue to the run-scoring ways to keep India competitive against Australia and push the team towards a possible series win.

5. Ajinkya Rahane

5. Ajinkya Rahane

Rahane has two fifties on this tour and looked confident against Australian bowlers. He has not been able to convert fifties into three-figure knock in this series so far and has hoped that the big one is just around the corner, possibly at Melbourne, a venue where he made a counter-attacking hundred in 2015.

6. Rohit Sharma

6. Rohit Sharma

Rohit played in Adelaide with moderate success with a cavalier approach bringing on his downfall. He did not play in Perth due to a "jarred back" and will be eager to underline his credentials as a Test player in the Boxing Day Test. It's essential for his future as a Test batsman too.

7. Rishabh Pant (w/k)

7. Rishabh Pant (w/k)

Pant has not looked settled in front of wicket on this tour yet, often playing too many shots to get out. His lack of defense was so palpable on bouncy Australian tracks and he will have to be better organised as a batsman at Melbourne. As a stumper, he has pulled off a world-record equalling effort at Adelaide but he has the propensity of dropping some catches and should be careful against.

8. Ravindra Jadeja

8. Ravindra Jadeja

After the all the controversy surrounding his fitness, the Saurashtra all-rounder has earned a place in the side and he will have to do the controlling job from one end. He is an accurate left-arm spinner who can bowl over after over and a brilliant fielder anywhere. Jadeja is a very handy lower-order batsman and that could count in India's favour.

9. Ishant Sharma

9. Ishant Sharma

Ishant has been a much improved bowler these days, troubling the right-handers with incoming deliveries and left-handers with bounce and balls that move away from them. The wicket column has not reflected his effort but he is an important cog in the wheel.

10. Mohammed Shami

10. Mohammed Shami

More often than not, Shami has been on the money during this series. Whether troubling batsmen with his ability to swing the ball or hitting on their bodies with a quick snorter, Shami played a fine part for India to return with career-best figure from Perth. India will be looking for an encore from him at the G.

11. Jasprit Bumrah

11. Jasprit Bumrah

He has been Kohli's go-to man in this series, whether he wants to check the run flow or get a breakthrough. Batsmen have struggled against his awkward length, sharp pace and excellent control. India will be hoping for a big effort from him at Melbourne.

For Quick Alerts
Subscribe Now
For Quick Alerts
ALLOW NOTIFICATIONS
For Daily Alerts

    Love Cricket? Prove it! Play myKhel Fantasy Cricket here

    Story first published: Tuesday, December 25, 2018, 9:12 [IST]
    Other articles published on Dec 25, 2018
    POLLS
    We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. This includes cookies from third party social media websites and ad networks. Such third party cookies may track your use on Mykhel sites for better rendering. Our partners use cookies to ensure we show you advertising that is relevant to you. If you continue without changing your settings, we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies on Mykhel website. However, you can change your cookie settings at any time. Learn more