With India facing a crushing loss against Australia in the first Test in Adelaide by eight wickets, some changes look inevitable. The Indian team went down comprehensively after being in control for the best part of three days since Australia’s bowlers were on song from the word go on the third day. As per a report from India Today, the tourists will make four changes for the second Test in Melbourne.
Indian captain, Virat Kohli’s absence, will create a gaping hole in the batting line-up. The right-handed batsman will miss the next three Tests and return home to be with his wife for the impending birth of their first child. KL Rahul looks likely to replace him in the middle-order. While the keeper-batsman endured a horror series the last time India toured Australia, the 28-year old could receive a recall, based on his white-ball form.
The second significant change is Shubman Gill coming in for the under-fire opener Prithvi Shaw. The likes of Mitchell Starc and Pat Cummins exposed Shaw’s faulty technique as the ball burst through the gap between the bat and pad in both the innings to hit the stumps. Gill was in terrific touch in the second warm-up game before the first Test, making his case stronger.
Mohammed Siraj to get his first India cap; Rishabh Pant to replace Wriddhiman Saha:
Fast bowler Mohammed Shami, who suffered a hand injury, has ruled him out of the remainder of the series. Hence, a like-for-like player in Mohammed Siraj could replace him in Melbourne, getting a chance to showcase his skills. While Siraj did not enjoy enormous success in the warm-up games, he showed plenty of promise during the same.
Sources also say that India will likely bolster their batting in the absence of Virat Kohli and hence, Rishabh Pant will replace Wriddhiman Saha. The choice to include Wriddhiman Saha for the opening Test was due to his exceptional keeping skills; however, with the tourists’ batting line-up disintegrating in the second innings, this could be the change that turns their fortunes. Pant had an outstanding tour of Australia last year, scoring 350 runs in four Tests, including a hundred.