Australia set to be unchanged for Boxing Day India Test: Langer

Australia coach Justin Langer has all but confirmed his side will be unchanged for its second Test against India which starts at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on Saturday.

Langer said Kohli's absence at the Melbourne Cricket Ground, where up to 30,000 fans a day will be allowed, was great news for Australia.   -  GETTY IMAGES

Australia coach Justin Langer has all but confirmed his side will be unchanged for its second Test against India which starts at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on Saturday.

Australia completed an eight-wicket victory over the tourists in the first Test in Adelaide after it dismissed Virat Kohli's team for a record low score of 36 in its second innings.

"I'd be a pretty courageous man to change the XI for this Test match after the last one," Langer told reporters on Thursday.

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"At this stage, unless something happens over the next few days – and things can happen in the world we live in – we'll go in with the same XI, I'd say."

Opening batsman David Warner, who missed the first Test because of a groin injury, had already been ruled out of the match and was likely the only player to have been in contention to force his way into the side.

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Advantage Australia

Langer said Kohli's absence at the Melbourne Cricket Ground, where up to 30,000 fans a day will be allowed, was great news for Australia.

"Virat Kohli is one of the all-time great players and Shami I think is a real glue for the Indian bowling attack because he's so miserly, he's very, very skilful," he said. Kohli has returned home for the birth of his first child.

"So of course it gives us an advantage. But we just know we have to keep working hard in all the processes we've been talking about for some time.

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"We know we have to start strongly on day one, we know we need to keep the pressure on (Ajinkya) Rahane if he is the new captain.

"So our processes don't change, but when you take the best players out of any cricket team, then, of course, it weakens them, that is just reality, and it gives us an advantage."

(with additional inputs)

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