Australia announce Playing XI for Melbourne Test: Australia have named one change to their playing XI for the third Test.
The Boxing Day Test is undoubtedly one of the most looked-forward event in Australian cricket. Given the occasion in addition to Australia gaining momentum post a 147-run victory in Perth, it calls for an exhilarating set of five days of Test match cricket in Melbourne.
A loss in this Test will mean that India will regain the Border-Gavaskar Trophy despite the result in Sydney. Therefore, the hosts will be looking to put their best case forward to not just prevent the last Test from being a dead-rubber-of-sorts but also end an indifferent year on a high.
Having secured a victory in the last Test, Australia weren’t expected to make many surprising changes like India, who have made three changes to their playing XI. Having said that, Australia have made a solitary change to their playing XI.
Australia’s Playing XI for Melbourne Test
1) Top-order – In which will be another reason for the Melbourne crowd to watch the match, Victorian opening pair of Aaron Finch and Marcus Harris will face the new ball on their home ground tomorrow.
Finch and Harris registered opening partnerships of 0 and 28 in the first Test. In the second one at Perth which Australia won, their opening partnership in two innings were 112 and 59 which speaks of how a strong start can dominate a Test.
The duo will be looking to put on display a replica of Perth in Melbourne in a bid to provide the best possible opening stand to their team. Usman Khawaja’s game-changing half-century was a highlight in the Australian victory at Perth. He would also be looking to bank on the momentum during the Boxing Day Test.
2) Middle-order – Shaun Marsh’s scores of 2, 60, 45 and 5 in four innings might not make him a candidate for the most consistent batsmen but doesn’t make him someone who can be taken lightly either. The 35-year old southpaw has it in him to cash in on his start and go on to play a match-winning innings.
In which is Australia’s only change, they have included all-rounder Mitchell Marsh in place of out-of-form middle-order batsman Peter Handscomb. Having scored 68 runs win two Test matches with a technique which further signifies his struggle, Handscomb’s ouster was in the making.
The change will also mean that Travis Head will move up the order at No. 6, followed by Mitchell Marsh and captain Tim Paine.
3) Bowlers – An unchanged bowling line-up comprising of Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazlewood, Pat Cummins and Nathan Lyon will be relieved to see the presence of Mitchell Marsh in the squad for his spells will decrease the load of their shoulders.
In a statement which doesn’t go well with the Australian conditions, highest wicket-taker in the series off-spinner Nathan Lyon will once again hold the key for Australia in the bowling division.
Australia’s Playing XI for third Test – 1) Aaron Finch 2) Marcus Harris 3) Usman Khawaja 4) Shaun Marsh 5) Travis Head 6) Mitchell Marsh 7) Tim Paine (c & wk) 8) Mitchell Starc 9) Pat Cummins 10) Nathan Lyon 11) Josh Hazlewood
Read some of the latest Twitter reactions on the same below:
Tim Paine confirms Mitchell Marsh recalled in place of Peter Handscomb. “We’ll need his bowling at some stage.”#AUSvIND
— ESPNcricinfo (@ESPNcricinfo) December 24, 2018
Australia make one change too. Mitchell Marsh in for Peter Handscomb. Fairly predictable that…
and that comment is not related to what India have done. #AusvInd
— Chetan Narula (@chetannarula) December 24, 2018
Mitchell Marsh in? Hahaha
Merry Christmas Everyone!!
— Tom (@SillyMidTom) December 25, 2018
— Freddie Christie (@FredChristie7) December 25, 2018