India Announces Squad For The 3rd Test Against Australia, Mayank Agarwal To Make His Debut

| December 25 , 2018 , 17:03 IST

The Anxious Indian Team has announced their squad for the 3rd test match against Australia on Tuesday.

BCCI finally dumped their out-of-form openers KL Rahul and Murali Vijay and included Mayank Agarwal, the highest run-getter in domestic cricket last season in the squad for the 3rd test starting on Wednesday.

Rohit Sharma though has been declared fit after missing the last match and preferred over Hardik Pandya as he will give the cushion of an extra batsman. 

Indian team management announced their playing XI, a day prior to the match ending speculations about the possible team combination.

Exclusion of Murli Vijay and KL Rahul is not much surprising as Rahul had scored only 48 runs in four innings this series, including a highest of 44 in the second innings at Adelaide.

His average had dropped down to 20.94 in nine Tests with only one fifty-plus score.

Vijay had done no better previously scored 49 runs in four innings this series, including a highest of 20 in the second innings at Perth.

Overall in 2019, he only averages 18.80 in eight Tests, with one hundred against Afghanistan. Otherwise his highest score this year is 46 in the first innings against South Africa at Centurion.

In this year's overseas cycle, his average drops down to 12.64 in seven Tests. The sheer numbers indicated that the two couldn't be persisted with as they had become "walking wickets" for the Australian new ball bowlers.

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Chairman of Selectors, MSK Prasad stated that Agarwal has earned his place by the sheer weight of runs in domestic cricket as well as for India A and couldn't be ignored any further by either selectors or the team management.

While Vihari bats at number three for Andhra, he has previously opened for Hyderabad earlier in his first-class career. he added.

After getting the balance awfully wrong in Perth, the Indian team have included a spinner along with Ishant Sharma, Mohammed Shami and Jasprit Bumrah.

Left-arm spinner Ravindra Jadeja has recovered sufficiently from his shoulder stiffness and takes Umesh Yadav's spot in the playing eleven.

Offspinner Ravichandran Ashwin was again ruled out, having not fully recovered from the abdominal strain that sidelined him in the second Perth test.

Australia made a single change to their playing eleven.

Peter Handscomb, who is short of runs, makes way for all-rounder Mitchell Marsh.

Indian XI For the 3rd Test:

Virat Kohli (captain), Ajinkya Rahane, Mayank Agarwal, Hanuma Vihari, Cheteshwar Pujara, Rohit Sharma, Rishabh Pant, Ravindra Jadeja, Mohammed Shami, Ishant Sharma, Jasprit Bumrah

Australian XI For the 3rd Test:

Aaron Finch, Marcus Harris, Usman Khawaja, Shaun Marsh, Travis Head, Mitch Marsh, Tim Paine (captain), Pat Cummins, Mitchell Starc, Nathan Lyon, Josh Hazlewood.