As anticipated, India has altered its lineup and dropped both of its Openers for the third Test against Australia beginning on Wednesday at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG).
Both Lokesh Rahul and Murali Vijay failed to deliver up to the task and added 48 and 40 runs respectively to their individual overall Test scores in four innings each.
India has brought in Mayank Agarwal as Test debutant and promoted Hanuma Vihari up the order to replace the previous Openers. In addition, Rohit Sharma and Ravindra Jadeja have also been included in the playing XI for the MCG Boxing Day Test.
For Australia, all-rounder Mitchell Marsh will replace Peter Handscomb in the third Test.
India vs Australia Third Test to begin at 05:00 am IST (Indian Standard Time) and 04:30 am PST (Pakistan Standard Time)
The four-match Test series is leveled at 1-1 after India sealed a 31-run victory at Adelaide whereas Australia bounced back with a 146-run win at Perth.
The two teams have previously wrestled at MCG 12 times, resulting in 8-2 wins for both Australia and India respectively. Two Test at the venue ended in draw.
India’s both victories at Melbourne came back in 1977/78 and 1981.
India has never won a Test series in Australia but drew in 1980/81, 1985/86 and 2003/04.
Virat Kohli has scored a total of 1️⃣5️⃣9️⃣ runs in fourth innings of away Test matches in 2018 😯
His average while batting in the last innings this year is an eye-opening 26.50 👀
— Cricingif (@_cricingif) December 17, 2018
Whereas the last triumph over India at Perth was Australia’s first Test victory in over nine months as its last success in Test Cricket came in March 2018 against South Africa at Durban.
India Test Squad for third Test:
Mayank Agarwal, Hanuma Vihari, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli (Captain), Ajinkya Rahane, Rohit Sharma, Rishabh Pant (Wicket Keeper), Ravindra Jadeja, Mohammed Shami, Ishant Sharma, Jasprit Bumrah
Australia Test Squad for third Test:
Marcus Harris, Aaron Finch, Usman Khawaja, Shaun Marsh, Travis Head, Mitch Marsh, Tim Paine (Captain & Wicket Keeper), Josh Hazlewood, Pat Cummins, Nathan Lyon, Mitchell Starc