Australia Vs India Melbourne Test 2018 – India and Australia announced their squads for the Melbourne test, which promises to be a blockbuster affair with the series currently tied at 1-1. While the big news in Australia Vs India Melbourne Test 2018 from the Indian camp is that the team management has decided to axe both the openers, Australia have caught everyone’s eyes by including Archie Schiller, a seven-year-old leg-spinner in their 15 man squad.
Reeling due to the pathetic and dismal performances of their opener KL Rahul and Murali Vijay in the first two tests, the Indian unit looks to have finally lost patience with the duo. Dropping both the players for the third test, Virat Kohli and company have earmarked Mayank Aggarwal and Hanuma Vihari to take responsibility of opening the innings come 26 December.
After news broke out earlier that Prithvi Shaw would be ruled out of the entire test series owing to a crucial ligament ankle injury he had sustained while fielding in the warm-up match against Cricket XI, Mayank Aggarwal was drafted in by the BCCI to replace Shaw. The onus will be on him now to take responsibility of ensuring India to finally get off to a solid start while batting. Although it is still unsure who will accompany him to open the batting for India with Rohit Sharma having said he is more than ready to face the new ball, we expect the role to be given to Hanuma Vihari with Rohit being slotted in the Number 6 position.
While the Indian team news saw Rohit Sharma recuperate in time for the MCG test, spinner Ashwin has failed to regain fitness after suffering an abdominal strain, one that kept him out from the second test match as well. Looking to avoid the fiasco that India had dragged themselves into in Perth, the team has much to the relief of millions of Indian cricket supporters over the globe brought in Ravindra Jadeja as the front-line spinning option in the XI.
Jadeja’s inclusion is not without controversy though with coach Ravi Shastri recently claiming that Jadeja was not picked for the second test owing to an ongoing injury issue. His claims were quickly thrashed by the BCCI and Jadeja Ranji side who asserted that the spinner faced no injury-related problems before departing for the Australian tour.
India coach Ravi Shastri: “Problem with Jaddu was that he had taken an injection four days into coming to Australia because of some stiffness in his shoulder, and it took a while for that injection to settle down. So when you look at Perth, we felt he was about 70-80 per cent fit, and we didn’t want to risk that. When he came here, he felt some stiffness, and he felt that in India as well, but he played domestic cricket after that. We didn’t want a scenario wherein the player pulls out after five-ten overs in a Test.”
Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI): “Mr Jadeja’s left shoulder has continued to improve and he is now available for the 3rd Test match of the series in Melbourne. Jadeja complained of a left shoulder discomfort after prolonged bowling spells during 2018, West Indies ODI series. He underwent a guided injection in Mumbai for this on 2nd November.” “This gave Mr Jadeja good relief of his symptoms and he played in the Ranji Trophy match for Saurashtra from 12 to 15 November in which he completed 64 overs without any issues. He was thereby declared fit by the BCCI and selected for the Test series against Australia.”
The Indian playing XI for the third test of the four-match series sees Umesh Yadav also being dropped with India looking to go in with three pacers, one spinner combination, the same one that successfully won them the first test.
From the Australian camp meanwhile while we expect them to field the same playing XI as the first and second tests, news of including Archie Schiller, a seven-year-old leg-spinner in the 15 man line-up. Schiller who suffers from congenital heart disease has already joined the squad and is currently training with the team during the practice sessions.
Schiller was informed about his inclusion in the team in October when he said that he would get Virat Kohli out and he also revealed his wish of captaining Australia one day.
Australia Vs India Melbourne Test 2018
India’s Playing XI for the 3rd Test: Virat Kohli (C), Ajinkya Rahane (VC), Mayank Agarwal, Hanuma Vihari, Cheteshwar Pujara, Rohit Sharma, Rishabh Pant (WK), Ravindra Jadeja, Mohammed Shami, Ishant Sharma, and Jasprit Bumrah.
Australia squad: Tim Paine(c), Aaron Finch, Marcus Harris, Usman Khawaja, Shaun Marsh, Peter Handscomb, Travis Head, Mitchell Starc, Pat Cummins, Nathan Lyon, Josh Hazlewood, Mitchell Marsh, Peter Siddle