Australia and India are ready to face off in the third Test of the four-match series, which will begin from Wednesday in Melbourne.The Boxing Day Test as they call it will be of greater significance as the team who will succeed here will have their one hand on the trophy.
In the first Test of the series, it was the visitors who came out on top in a nail-biting encounter by 31 runs.In the second match, however, it was the home side emerged victorious by 146 runs in a truly dominating performance.
In the match starting from Wednesday, the home side will go in with one change as all-rounder Mitchell Marsh will replace out-of-form Peter Handscomb. In the batting department, the onus will be once again on the likes of Aaron Finch, Usman Khawaja and Travis Head to score bulk of the runs.
In the bowling department, the onus will be once again on the pace trio of Michell Starc, Josh Hazlewood and Pat Cummins to provide timely breakthroughs, whereas the role of off-spinner Nathan Lyon will be even more important considering reports that the pitch might start to break due to hot and humid weather.
Four-match series is levelled at 1-1 after both teams secured victories in first two matches
On the other hand, team India will make as many as three changes as both openers – Murali Vijay and KL Rahul – have been replaced by Mayank Agarwal and Hanuma Vihari, whereas all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja will replace injured Ravichandran Ashwin.
In the batting department, the visitors will be depending once again on the in-form trio of captain Virat Kohli, Cheteshwar Pujara and Ajinkya Rahane to score bulk of the runs, whereas in the bowling department, the onus will be on the pace trio of Mohammed Shami, Ishant Sharma and Jasprit Bumrah to provide timely breakthroughs.
The pitch at Melbourne Cricket Ground is expected to be a good one for batting and teams would like to bat first after winning the toss as the track is likely to deteriorate after hot and humid first four days.