After the humiliating defeat in Adelaide, India cricket team is doing its practice sessions at the MCG where it plays its 2nd Test Dec 26-30) match starting on Boxing Day, December 26. Are Shubman Gill and Ravindra Jadeja the answer?
India lost so badly that any changes being made do not seem enough for the fans to avenge that defeat in Adelaide. There are two potential changes which may work to boost the morale of the team.
First one is Ravindra Jadeja who missed out the Test series opener in Adelaide due to concussion. He has been participating in practice sessions in Melbourne.
The second is the opening batsman – Shubman Gill – who was overlooked for the series opener despite scoring good in the practice match with the pink ball before the first Test match in Adelaide. Shubman had scored 43 and 65 in the pink-ball warm-up match but was not selected for Prithvi Shaw who returned the scores of 0 and 4.
Shubman was looking in good nick at the MCG nets. He may very well open the batting with Mayank Agarwal when Indians set out to take revenge on the Aussies on Saturday. The 21-year-old Shubman also opens for Punjab in the Ranji Trophy and could be favoured over Prithvi Shaw who is struggling with the form at the moment.
The Indian team is training with stand-in skipper Ajinkya Rahane, Head Coach Ravi Shastri, KL Rahul and Ravindra Jadeja who in his first stint went for an hour-long spell at the nets bowling to Cheteshwar Pujara. He returned for a second stint later.
Ravi Shastri also had chats with Rishabh Pant and Wriddhiman Saha.
On the bowling side, with Mohammed Shami ruled out for the remainder of the series with a fractured forearm, spectators could see Mohammed Siraj, Navdeep Saini and Shardul Thakur were seen bowling in the nets.
The third Test (January 7-11) in Sydney may be shifted to Melbourne because of COVID-19 issues in Sydney but no announcement has yet been made by Cricket Australia.
If the situation in Sydney does not settle, it may be that the Indians will stay on in Melbourne and play the third Test also in Melbourne and then move on to Brisbane for the last and final fourth Test (January 15-19) before visitors fly back home to India.