Australia vs India: Anil Kumble picks his playing XI for the Boxing Day Test

Australia vs India: Anil Kumble picks his playing XI for the Boxing Day Test

The former India coach has some valuable suggestions to Virat Kohli and Co.

Anil Kumble
Anil Kumble. (Photo Source: TNPL)

Team India has been troubled with injury concerns in the ongoing Test series against Australia. Prithvi Shaw has already been ruled out while the front-line spinners Ravi Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja are facing the race against time to get fit ahead of the third Test in Melbourne. In the prediction game going among the experts, even Anil Kumble has thrown his hat now and has picked his playing XI for the Boxing Day Test which will most probably decide the fate of the series.

Kumble had a smile on his face when he was asked to pick the XI for the all-important game of the four-match series as he hadn’t seen the pitch yet. Melbourne wicket has changed over the years as the last year’s Boxing Day Ashes Test ended with no result in which Alastair Cook slammed a sensational double hundred to revive his career.

Though assuming that the pitch will be dry, the former India head coach felt that the visitors should go in with two specialist spinners in Ashwin and Jadeja who can bat as well. He also didn’t tinker with the pace trio who have been bowling exceptionally well this year in the longest format.

Throw Mayank in the mix

Anil Kumble, while speaking to the Cricket Next, believed that Mayank Agarwal should be handed over his international debut in Melbourne. He pointed out how the youngsters like Rishabh Pant, Hanuma Vihari and Prithvi Shaw have been performing at the highest level and backed Mayank to do well. The 48-year-old also believed that his inclusion will also bring some freshness in the line-up at the top of the order for the team.

Kumble further went on to say that Vihari has solid technique and he can definitely open the innings. Indirectly, he suggested dropping the struggling duo of KL Rahul and Murali Vijay which looks unlikely to happen as no such indication has come from the Indian camp so far.

Kumble playing XI for the third Test: Mayank Agarwal, Hanuma Vihari, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli (c), Ajinkya Rahane, Rishabh Pant (wk), Ravi Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Mohammed Shami, Ishant Sharma, Jasprit Bumrah.

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