Boxing Day Test: Gill, Pant, Jadeja, Siraj in India XI, no space for Rahul

NEW DELHI: Ahead of the Boxing Day Test in Melbourne, Team India on Friday announced the playing XI that saw the much anticipated inclusion of Shubman Gill but also saw the surprise exclusion of KL Rahul.
The 21-year-old Gill will be making his Test debut and has come in place of out-of-form Prithvi Shaw, who scored 0 and 4 in the two innings of the first Test. Interestingly, Shubman played under Prithvi Shaw’s captaincy in the 2018 ICC u-19 World Cup which India won.
Pacer Mohammed Siraj will also make his Test debut. He got the nod ahead of Navdeep Saini to replace Mohammed Shami, who was earlier presumably ruled out of the rest of the series with a fractured wrist, though there has been no official confirmation of this yet from the BCCI.
All-rounder Ravindra Jadeja, who did not feature in the final two games of the T20I series was also included in the XI after recuperating from a concussion and a hamstring injury.
Looking to boost the batting order, the selectors also included Rishabh Pant in place of wicket-keeper Wriddhiman Saha, who struggled with the bat in the Adelaide Test.
India Playing XI for second Test:
Ajinkya Rahane (captain)
Mayank Agarwal
Shubman Gill
Cheteshwar Pujara
Hanuma Vihari
Rishabh Pant (wicket-keeper)
Ravindra Jadeja
R Ashwin
Umesh Yadav
Jasprit Bumrah
Mohd. Siraj

In the absence of Kohli, Rahane could bat at No. 4 while Vihari might move up to fill the No.5 slot. Shubman is expected to open the innings with Mayank Agarwal.
Cheteshwar Pujara will be the vice-captain for the Indian team.

“Each and every individual in this team is really capable of doing well, so it’s really a challenge for the captain and management to select the 11,” Rahane said. “We had just one bad hour (in Adelaide). It’s about staying positive, backing your own ability and batting in partnerships,” he added.

India currently trail Australia 0-1 in the 4-match series, after they lost the series opener, the Adelaide Day/Night Test by 8 wickets inside three days.
Here are a few reactions after India playing XI was announced

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