36 all out, eight wickets defeat, captain Virat Kohli flew back home and now a depleted, demoralised Indian team will have to face the mighty Australians in the Boxing Day Test at MCG. The odds are stacked up for the Indian team ahead of the 2nd Test. But trailing by 1-0 already in the four-match series, India will have to fight back hard to get back into the game. Leading the charge will be Ajinkya Rahane, who will also have the hard task of lifting the spirits of the team back up ahead of the 2nd Test.
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Here is our list of India’s Predicted XI for the 2nd Test at MCG:
Shubman Gill: Shubman Gill had a good showing in the limited-overs series in Australia, and he only played better than Prithvi Shaw in the warm-up game. Shaw got a chance in Adelaide but he could not grasp the brass ring, and now Gill may get his chance at MCG.
Mayank Agarwal: Mayank Agarwal struggled in the first Test, but he is likely to get another chance. If he can hold one end for two sessions, he can put his team in a good spot.
Cheteshwar Pujara: Cheteshwar Pujara would be upset over his dismissal for 4 in the 2nd innings of the first Test, and he would definitely be working on his defence ahead of the MCG Test. He could be the key player.
KL Rahul: The most promising player for India in 2020 has been KL Rahul and he may get a chance in the 2nd Test at no.4 position as Virat Kohli’s replacement. Rahul will hope to show he can bat at any position in Tests, just like he can do so in ODIs and T20Is.
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Ajinkya Rahane (c): Ajinkya Rahane will be the captain for India and he would hope to put on a better batting display than the one in Adelaide. The pressure though would be huge on his shoulders.
Ravindra Jadeja: Ravindra Jadeja can also provide India another regular bowling option, replacing Hanuma Vihari wasn’t among runs in Adelaide.
Rishabh Pant (wk): Wriddhiman Saha might be a better wicketkeeper as per the cricket pundits, but in Virat Kohli’s absence, India would need to ramp up their batting line-up as much as they can – and surely, Pant would be the man who would get a chance at MCG in place of Saha.
Ravichandran Ashwin: R Ashwin was the star of India’s bowling attack in Adelaide and he has given a strong reply to critics who said the Australian conditions does not suit his style of bowling. He would hope for a similar performance at MCG.
Umesh Yadav: Umesh Yadav in limited-overs and Umesh Yadav in Tests are two different bowlers. He bowled beautifully in the first innings in Adelaide, and Indian fans will hope he can do the same in the Boxing Day Test.
Navdeep Saini: With Mohammed Shami and reportedly ruled out of the Test series, pacer Navdeep Saini may get a chance.
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Jasprit Bumrah: Jasprit Bumrah will have to lead the India pace bowling attack without his two compadres Shami and Ishant. The pressure will be on him to charge from the front and get early wickets.
India’s Predicted XI vs Australia for 2nd Test: Shubman Gill, Mayank Agarwal, Cheteshwar Pujara, KL Rahul, Ajinkya Rahane, Ravindra Jadeja, Rishabh Pant, Ravichandran Ashwin, Umesh Yadav, Navdeep Saini, Jasprit Bumrah