KL Rahul has been dropped from India’s playing XI in the third Test against Australia in the Border-Gavaskar Trophy after a prolonged lean patch. Youngster Shubman Gill has been included in KL Rahul’s place in the XI. Rahul, who was named vice captain for the first two Tests, scored just 38 runs in the series. The opener has scores of 22, 23, 10, 2, 20, 17 and 1 in his last seven innings. Rahul last scored a Test half-century in January, 2022 against South Africa in Johannesburg. His last Test ton came against the same opponents in December 2021.
Shubman, on the other hand, has scored 736 runs in 13 Tests with one tons and four half-centuries. He has been in great form and recently scored a double ton in ODIs too. He is one of the few Indian players to have a ton in all formats.
India captain Rohit Sharma said that there were two changes in the India playing XI from the second Test. He specifically mentioned while Mohammed Shami was rested to make way for Umesh Yadav, Shubman Gill came ‘in place of’ Rahul.
“We will have a bat first. It is a pretty good dressing room and like you said the morale is high. The guys are confident about their skills which is a good thing moving forward. We have played a lot of cricket (here) but this one (surface) is slightly different. Looks little dry and you have to adapt your skills and be at it all the time. We are there yet (WTC final) and we have to come and win this game, we have to try and repeat the things we did in the first two Tests. It is important to stay present. We have made two changes – Gill has come in place of KL. We have rested Shami, Umesh comes in place of him,” Rohit said.
Australia stand-in captain Steve Smith said: “Looks pretty dry and no surprises Rohit decided to bat first. Hopefully we can execute our skills early and out the Indian batters under pressure. It (break) came in at a good time for us, obviously disappointing how we ended the last Test match and the guys have had time to reflect, rest and get back into preparation. Just stick to our methods for longer periods, we went away from it especially in the second innings in the last game. We are thinking about Patty, his mum’s unwell and he has had to go home.”
India (Playing XI):Rohit Sharma(c), Shubman Gill, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli, Shreyas Iyer, Ravindra Jadeja, Srikar Bharat(w), Axar Patel, Ravichandran Ashwin, Umesh Yadav, Mohammed Siraj
Australia (Playing XI):Usman Khawaja, Travis Head, Marnus Labuschagne, Steven Smith(c), Peter Handscomb, Cameron Green, Alex Carey(w), Mitchell Starc, Nathan Lyon, Todd Murphy, Matthew Kuhnemann
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