The Boxing Day Test between India and Australia is due to start on Friday, and after a disappointing performance in the first encounter, visitors will look to make a few amends here. Without the services of some of the stalwarts, it is going to be tough for the team to put up a fight and without a fail every player will have to stand up. India could go in for at least five changes in their team. Here’s a look at the list of Indian players who could perform well for the team -
Most likely Gill is going to make his debut in the Boxing Day Test, and he would like to make it a memorable one. So far he hasn’t had great success in limited-overs formats, but the Punjab batsman is hailed as the next big thing in Tests. Something special would be expected from him in the time of need. It will be interesting to see where he gets to bat in the team.
He will the leader of the pace attack here, and the onus will be on him as usual, to pick up early wickets. He did that in the first Test as well. But there would be increased pressure on him to deliver for the team when they are 0-1 down in the series. Pacers usually hunt in packs, and this time he would have Mohammad Siraj for company.
India could go in with two debutants for the match — Gill and Siraj. The latter has been the find from the domestic circuit, where he has picked up wickets in the Ranji Trophy in heaps, and has been the best bowler there. But he is yet to prove his mettle. With the limited opportunities, he has got in white-ball cricket, he has failed to deliver.
More often than not, India away from home haven’t been able to score freely. This could change if Pant strikes form. He had done well in a warm-up match where he struck a 73-ball ton. Also on last tour to Australia he scored a ton as well. So he would like to replicate that kind of performance.
It might well happen that India opt for two spinners for the MCG Test - Ashwin and Jadeja. With the entry of the latter, the team gets an excellent balance, as Jadeja knows how to score runs with the tail — something that has been missing from the team for sometime now. He would be crucial with the bat, ball and in the field. India till now has fielded poorly in the series, and would like to change that at the earliest.