Australia vs India: Numerous changes for visitors expected in boxing day test

After a crushing defeat in the first test of the Border Gavaskar trophy, the Indian team is set to make numerous changes to the starting XI in the boxing day test this week. According to the Times of India, as many as five changes are expected to be made by the visitors on December 26.

Two of these changes are set to be forced changes as Virat Kohli is set to return home for the birth of his first child, while Mohammed Shami suffered a serious hand injury in the first test. The experienced pacer is set to miss the rest of the series. TOI is reporting that Shubman Gill is set to be the replacement for Kohli, while one of Navdeep Saini and Mohammed Siraj is set to replace Shami.

Meanwhile, the under-fire opening batsman Prithvi Shaw will be replaced by KL Rahul in the starting lineup. The 22-year-old batsman was dismissed for cheap scores in the two innings, exposing his weakness toward delivering that are nipping inwards. Wriddhiman Saha is set to make way for Rishabh Pant, while Ravindra Jadeja is fit to start in place of Hanuma Vihari.

These reported changes are too many in the space of a few days, but the collapse of India in the second innings was surely going to call for numerous changes. The team management will be hoping that the likes of Cheteshwar Pujara and Ajinkya Rahane step up in the absence of Kohli to allow the younger batsmen to express themselves in the remaining series.

Rohit Sharma will be available for selection in the third test after he passed a fitness test on December 11. The prolific Indian opener is undergoing quarantine in Australia. India is also missing Ishant Sharma for this series due to injury. After such a damaging defeat in the first test, it is going to be a humungous challenge for India to retain the Border Gavaskar trophy.

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