With handful changes India will square off against Australia in the second Test Match of the Border-Gawaskar Trophy on Saturday at Melbourne Cricket Ground. This Boxing Day Test will feature more than 30,000 spectators with the 50% capacity of the stadium.
In the 4 match test series Australia is leading India with 1-0, with the win in the Adelaide Test with 8 wickets. Now India would like to fight back but without their skipper and strike bowler as Kohli has took his parental leave and Mohammad Shami has been ruled out from the series due to fracture on the hand.
In the other camp, Tim Paine is a much more relaxed man, and Australia a much different team. There is still no Warner, and it’s far from a solid batting line-up. But they hung on, in a match of two Steven Smith runs, long enough for their bowling attack to work its magic. Both openers found runs by the end of the last match, the wunderkind debutant looked like he belongs, and they know a softened Indian team cannot win the series if it becomes 2-0 at Melbourne. You won’t catch them worrying about caveats.
Pitch and conditions
Melbourne’s forecast suggests some major fluctuations through the Test. Pleasant weather on the first day is expected to be followed by a 33-degree-celsius high on the second, which is also the only day with a rain forecast. The last three days are expected to be drastically cooler than that.
Australia (probable): 1 Joe Burns, 2 Matthew Wade, 3 Marnus Labuschagne, 4 Steven Smith, 5 Travis Head, 6 Cameron Green, 7 Tim Paine (capt & wk), 8 Pat Cummins, 9 Mitchell Starc, 10 Josh Hazlewood, 11 Nathan Lyon
India: 1 Mayank Agarwal, 2 Shubman Gill, 3 Cheteshwar Pujara, 4 Ajinkya Rahane (capt), 5 Hanuma Vihari, 6 Rishabh Pant (wk), 7 Ravindra Jadeja, 8 R Ashwin, 9 Umesh Yadav, 10 Mohammed Siraj, 11 Jasprit Bumrah