After facing the embarrassing defeat in the first Test against Australia, Team India would be hoping to bounce back in the second Test, starting from December 26 at Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG).
There is also a possibility of few changes in the playing XI that featured in the 4-match series opener in Adelaide. This includes some forced changes as neither Virat Kohli will play the series remainder nor Mohammed Shami. While Kohli has taken paternity leave to attend the birth of his first child, Shami has been ruled out of the remaining three Tests due to fracture injury.
Speaking on the modifications, former India opener Gautam Gambhir has opined what changes India should make in their playing XI ahead of the Boxing Day Test. Gambhir backed Shubman Gill to open the innings after Prithvi Shaw’s poor show in Adelaide
“I wanted Prithvi Shaw to start the series because if a player has scored a hundred and two fifties in four Test matches and hit a fifty in the last tough tour to New Zealand, then you start with him, no doubt the form was not good,” said Gambhir while speaking on Star Sports show Cricket Connected.
“But now in the type of form he is in, more than the form his confidence is very low, so I will want to see Shubman Gill at the top along with Mayank Agarwal and Pujara at No.3,” he added.
Gambhir reckoned that in the absence of Virat Kohli, Ajinkya Rahane should come at number 4 instead of his regular position of number 5. Gambhir said Rahane being a captain now should lead from the front and come up the order.
The cricketer-turned-politician observed that KL Rahul should replace Kohli to strengthen the middle-order. At the same time, Rishabh Pant should come in place of Wriddhiman Saha as the wicketkeeper-batsman.
“I will want to see Rahane at No.4. I will not want to see Rahane stay at No.5 because if he is the captain now, he has to lead from the front. So, Rahane should play at No.4 in place of Virat Kohli. KL Rahul should play at No.5, and Rishabh Pant should play at No.6,” remarked Gambhir.
India should go with five bowlers in Melbourne Test: Gambhir
Gambhir said India should go with five bowlers in the Boxing Day Test match with three seamers and two spinners. He named Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja as two spinners but did not reveal his choice of pacers.
“Jadeja and Ashwin should play at No.7 and No.8 and then three seamers. I will want to go in with five bowlers,” concluded Gambhir.
Tune in tonight, to hear @GautamGambhir talk about the changes he would like to see in the Indian side for the 2nd test between AUSvIND. #CricketConnected every Monday at 2 PM and 9PM only on the Star Sports Network. pic.twitter.com/o3Up48cTmk
— Star Sports (@StarSportsIndia) December 21, 2020