India swing the Boxing Day axeIndia’s captain Ajinkya Rahane (L) chats with coach Ravi Shastri (R) during a training session ahead of the second cricket Test match against Australia, in Melbourne on December 24, 2020. (Photo by William WEST / AFP) / –IMAGE RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE – NO COMMERCIAL USE–


India will head into the Boxing Day Test with a vastly different looking outfit that took to the field during the opening Test in Adelaide.

Forced to make two changes after skipper Virat Kohli left to be with his wife for the birth of their first child along with losing quick bowler Mohammed Shami through injury.

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The visitors made a total of four changes to the XI with Ravindra Jadeja, Rishabh Pant, Shubman Gill and Mohammah Siraj all set to line-up in Melbourne.

Siraj and Gill will make their Test debuts with the promising young quick Siraj coming in for Shami who suffered a broken arm in the second innings in Adelaide.

Pant will replace Wriddhiman Saha as the wicketkeeper with opener Prithvi Shaw also falling under the axe and being replaced by Gill.

The Aussies have yet to name their XI, however they’re expected to head into the second Test with an unchanged line-up after David Warner failed to overcome his groin complaint.

The opening batsman suffered the injury while fielding during the second one-day international against India at the SCG last month.

On Wednesday, Cricket Australia confirmed that Warner and Australian pace bowler Sean Abbott would not rejoin the Test squad ahead of the second match against India in Melbourne.

Although Abbott has recovered from a calf strain sustained during the Australia A’s tour match against India in Sydney, he was not available for selection due to CA’s strict biosecurity protocols.

“Warner and Abbott spent time in Sydney outside the team’s bio-secure hub to recover from injury,” CA said in a statement.

“While neither player has been in a specific ‘hotspot’ as outlined by NSW Health, Cricket Australia’s biosecurity protocols do not allow them to rejoin the squad in time for the Boxing Day Test.

“The pair travelled from Sydney to Melbourne to continue their rehabilitation given the changing public health situation in Sydney at the time.”



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