Australia captain Tim Paine won the coin toss and opted to bat first against India in the second Test to be played at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on Friday. The tourists are trailing 0-1 in the four-match series after losing the series opener in Adelaide by eight wickets. Also Read - Live Cricket Score Ind vs Aus 4th Test Day 4 Today's Match Live Updates Gabba, Brisbane: Australia Eye Quick Runs, India Aim Early Wickets
India are being led by Rahane in the absence of regular skipper Virat Kohli who left for home for the birth of his first child after the Adelaide Test. Kohli presided over a contest which seemed to have been under the control of his team before a spectacular collapse saw them being bowled out for 36 on the third day – their lowest ever score in the format. Also Read - Brisbane Weather Forecast For 4th Test Day 4: Rain Play Spoilsport During India-Australia at Gabba, Start Time
Rahane is captaining India for the third time in the format having led them to victories the previous two occasions he was in charge. “First of all it is an honour to lead my country and this bunch of guys. We dominated the first two days at Adelaide and it was just that one hour that took it away from us. We just need to focus on the moment,” Rahane said during the toss. Also Read - Highlights IND vs AUS 4th Test Day 3 Gabba, Brisbane Today's Match AS IT HAPPENED: Washington Sundar-Shardul Thakur Lead India Comeback; Australia Lead by 54 Runs
Paine said winning series is more important than a Test match for his team. “We had a good night at Adelaide, but we have spoken about the fact that series wins are more important over individual wins. Every match becomes important with the WTC points as well now,” he said.
India lost the services of their pacer Mohammed Shami who suffered a fractured forearm while batting during that fateful second innings. As a result of it, they have made four changes – two forced due to Kohli’s absence and Shami’s injury.
Prithvi Shaw and Wriddhiman Saha have been dropped and in walk debutant Shubman Gill and Wriddhiman Saha as their replacements respectively. Also making the cut are allrounder Ravindra Jadeja and debutant Mohammed Siraj.
Australia coach Justin Langer had already said they will field the same playing XI as Adelaide.
Australia XI: Tim Paine (captain and wk), Joe Burns, Matthew Wade, Marnus Labuschagne, Steve Smith, Travis Head, Cameron Green, Pat Cummins, Josh Jazlewood, Mitchell Starc, Nathan Lyon.
India XI: Ajinkya Rahane (captain), Mayank Agarwal, Shubman Gill, Cheteshwar Pujara, Hanuma Vihari, Rishabh Pant (wk), Ravindra Jadeja, Ravichandran Ashwin, Umesh Yadav, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Siraj.