Why five bowlers? Why no KL Rahul? Was it necessary to abandon Wriddhiman Saha? Who will beat at number 4? The questions have been many as Twitter has been inundated with mixed reactions to Playing XI in India for the Boxing Day Test against Australia, starting Saturday.
After losing the series opening day-night test in Adelaide by 8 wickets, India took drastic measures by making up to four changes to their side for the second test. Two of them, of course, were forced: Virat Kohli (on paternity leave) and Mohammed Shami (excluded with a fractured wrist).
Young Shubman Gill and pacer Mohammed Siraj are ready to make their trial debut at the MCG. Gill came in from the side in place of an out of shape Prithvi Shaw, while Shami’s injury opened the doors for Siraj.
Here’s how Twitter reacted to India’s XI game for the 2nd test
“Every individual on this team is really capable of doing well, so it’s really a challenge for the captain and management to select the 11,” Rahane said in a videoconference on Friday.
“We only had a bad hour (in Adelaide). It’s about staying positive, supporting your skills and beating in partnership. “
On Friday, Rahane’s Australian counterpart Paine said that even without Kohli and others, the injured tourists were more than able to reverse their fortunes.
“The moment we take our foot off the pedal and think we’re doing well (performance can slip),” Paine told reporters. “Our big goal … was to win after winning.
“We have been fantastic in the way we have prepared for this game.”
Paine’s side is likely to remain unchanged for the clash, with coach Justin Langer practically confirming this Thursday when he said he would be a “pretty brave man” to knock anyone out of Adelaide’s game.
The game will also be played in the shadow of the coronavirus pandemic, with the fate of the third test in Sydney still pending due to a new outbreak on the northern beaches of the city that caused a blockade and closure of the borders.
The Melbourne test also normally attracts large crowds, but Covid-19 restrictions have limited the crowd to 30,000.
“It will be different isn’t it,” Paine said.
“I think we’re just lucky to play a Boxing Day test at the MCG.”
(With agency input)