After a horrifying 8-wicket defeat against Australia in Adelaide, the Indian cricket team would look to bounce back in Melbourne. The second Test of the Border-Gavaskar trophy begins on December 26 at the iconic MCG. India will take the field without skipper Virat Kohli who will be back home for the birth of his child.
The batting collapse in Adelaide would require the management to make a couple of changes to the playing XI. In addition, the absence of Virat Kohli will surely intensify the task. Meanwhile, former Indian spinner Murali Karthik has come up a with a combination that may keep the strength of the Indian batting intact.
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Speaking on Sony Sports Network, Kartik opined that Ajinkya Rahane, who take the captaincy charge after Kohli’s departure, can promote himself to the No. 4 spot and that Rishabh Pant can be considered as a specialist batsman with the ‘X-factor’, without excluding Saha from the wicketkeeper post.
“One more thing can happen is that Ajinkya Rahane who plays up the order in first-class cricket can himself come at No. 4 because of the forced change. You can use Rishabh Pant just as a batsman with the X-factor,” said Kartik on Sony Sports Network.
“Everyone is seeing KL Rahul’s form but when he was left out of the Test team, it was because of his Test form. Now he came back in the team because of other things. When someone sees the recent form, they feel he is in form.
“So, these things will have to be seen with interest. Rishabh Pant has not done anything wrong as a batsman so you can play him as a batsman and don’t take the gloves from Wriddhiman Saha. So, that can also happen. It all depends on their thinking,” he added.
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Kartik pointed out that the Indian team management would look for a replacement for Prithvi Shaw who looked totally out of sorts in the Adelaide.
“But it depends on Prithvi Shaw, who was looking that he is not in form but the team management did the right thing by giving him the first chance. He had done well in the last Test match he played.”
“Everyone was seeing that he did not score runs in the IPL and wanted him to be kept out, but they did not do that. But in this match, he didn’t look in confidence at all. So, will you want to put him in pressure again or want to bring a fresh player who does not have that issue,” Kartik further said.