Australia Vs India Third Test Preview and other highlights:
- The third test match will begin on 26th December at 5:00 am IST
- India has dropped both openers for the test, replacing them with Mayank Aggarwal and Hanuma Vihari
- Rohit and Jadeja also make a return to the team with Umesh Yadav also being dropped
- Australia is expected to go in with the same playing XI
- The four-match series is currently tied at 1-1
Come 26 December, Australia and India will lock horns once again in the third test match of the series at the Melbourne Cricket Ground. With the series tantalizing poised at 1-1 at the half-way mark with India winning the series opener before Australia hit back with a comprehensive victory in Perth, the third test promises to be an enticing affair.
Must Read: Australia Vs India Melbourne Test 2018
In our Australia Vs India third test preview, we begin by taking a look at the wrongs India will be looking to the right come matchday. While the team selection has been the harbinger of good news for Indian cricket lovers with the underperforming players being shifted out in favour of inform talent, it is now time for these set of players to step up to the mantle once the match begins.
Replacing their lacklustre opening duo of KL Rahul and Murali Vijay, India will be going in with a completely new look opening stand with Mayank Aggarwal and Hanuma Vihari. It is a pair that the Indian contingent hasn’t tested till now in tests and with a heavy responsibility of providing some much-needed stability at the top, India will be hoping that this new look combination works in their favour.
Answering the calls of a million, the Indian team management has also called in wrist spinner Jadeja into the XI. A specialist spinner will be pivotal to India’s cause in Melbourne with the ball not expected to provide much aid to the pacers. Australia has traditionally struggled against the slower bowlers as well and in Jadeja, India not only has a fine spinning option but also a good bat in the lower order, one who can add crucial runs with the tail for the side.
India’s biggest cause of concern in the Perth Test was the batting unit failing to click together and provide the bowlers with a good cushion of runs to work with. Failing to read the pitch, apply themselves at the crease and grind out a proper test inning, the Indian batsmen were guilty of throwing away their wickets far too easily. A problem that has inflicted the side all this year now will need to be resolved in the third test and Indian captain Virat Kohli spoke on its importance before the third match.
It is very important for batsmen to stand up because as everyone can see, our bowling has been performing really well. Otherwise, the bowlers won’t be able to do anything with the totals that we have been compiling,” skipper Kohli said.
For the Australians, they’ll be looking to repeat the same performance that saw them level the series. One area of concern though for them is of the top-order not contributing enough to the cause and while we expect them to field an unchanged batting line-up, the onus is more than ever on their batsmen to contribute to the scoreboard.
Australia Vs India Third Test Preview Teams
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