Coach Justin Langer has all but confirmed Australia will take an unchanged XI into the Boxing Day Test against India. As Australia look to take an unassailable lead in the four-match Border-Gavaskar series, Langer has said that he’d have to be “very courageous” to change a team that won so convincingly in Adelaide.
Australia had thrashed India by eight wickets in just over two days at the Adelaide Oval to take the lead in the series. The hosts were on the backfoot after the first innings when India bowled them out for a modest 191 and took a 53-run lead. However, the Tim Paine-led side bounced back in style in the second innings and bowled India out for a paltry 36 before chasing down the 90-run target with ease.
And two days ahead of the second Test, Justin Langer has all but confirmed that Australia would play the game with the same team unless there’s an unexpected injury in the next two days.
“I’d be a pretty courageous man to change the XI for this Test match after the last one,” Langer said.
“At this stage, unless something happens over the next few days – and things can happen in the world we live in – we’ll go in with the same XI, I’d say,” he added.
Earlier this week, David Warner was ruled out of the second Test due to the groin injury he suffered last month as well as complications regarding Sydney’s recent COVID-19 outbreak. Along with Warner, Sean Abbott was also ruled out because of the COVID-19 outbreak while opener Will Pucovski is also sidelined.
With Warner and Pucovski out, Australia’s new opening pairing of Joe Burns and Matthew Wade will get another chance at the top of the order against India.
Australia’s playing eleven for the first Test:
Joe Burns, Matthew Wade, Marnus Labuschagne, Steven Smith, Travis Head(w/c), Cameron Green, Tim Paine, Pat Cummins, Mitchell Starc, Nathan Lyon, Josh Hazlewood