India vs Australia: Gill, Siraj to make Test debuts on Boxing Day; Pant replaces Saha

The management made four changes to the Melbourne Test XI - Gill comes in for Prithvi Shaw, Rishabh Pant replaces Wridhiman Saha, Ravindra Jadeja in place of Virat Kohli and Mohammed Siraj for Mohammed Shami.

FILE PICTURE: Shubman Gill is set to make his Test debut at the Boxing Day Test on December 26.   -  GETTY IMAGES

Shubman Gill will make his Test debut when India takes on Australia in the Boxing Day Test at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) on Saturday.

The management made four changes to the Melbourne Test XI - Gill comes in for Prithvi Shaw, Rishabh Pant replaces Wridhiman Saha, Ravindra Jadeja in place of Virat Kohli and Mohammed Siraj for Mohammed Shami.

With no Rohit Sharma in the squad, Mayank Agarwal and Prithvi Shaw have been the incumbent Test openers, but Shaw has copped criticism for his poor form, which saw him get dismissed for scores of 0 and 4 in Adelaide.

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The Mumbai right-hander makes way for his Under-19 World Cup-winning teammate, who had featured in both of India's warm-up matches in the lead up to the first Test. Gill was in good nick, with scores of 43 and 65 at the Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG).

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Before the start of the series, Sunil Gavaskar and Allan Border had picked Gill over Shaw to open the innings with Mayank Agarwal in the day-night Test in Adelaide.

Meanwhile, Rishabh Pant replaces Wriddhiman Saha in Melbourne. Pant has been India's wicketkeeper on the last three overseas tours to England, Australia and New Zealand and became the first Indian wicketkeeper to hit Test centuries in England and Australia in the 2018-19 season.

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In the bowling department, Mohammed Siraj, who is replacing injured pace spearhead Mohammed Shami in the XI, will also make his Test debut. All-rounder Ravindra Jadeja replaces regular skipper Virat Kohli, who has returned home for the birth of his first child.

Team India XI: Mayank Agarwal, Shubman Gill, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane (captain), Hanuma Vihari, Rishabh Pant (wicket-keeper), Jasprit Bumrah, Umesh Yadav, Ravindra Jadeja, R. Ashwin and Mohd. Siraj.
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