New Delhi | Jagran Sports Desk: India look to make as many as four changes in its playing XI for the Boxing Day Test against Australia at the Melbourne Cricket Ground after suffering an eight-wicket defeat at Adelaide Oval on Saturday. Two of the changes have been prompted by the unavailability of skipper Virat Kohli and ace pacer Mohammed Shami.

Shami has been ruled out of the series with a fractured arm, while Kohli is set to leave for India to attend the birth of their first child. Mohammed Siraj is likely to replace Shami in the second match, while KL Rahul could hold fort at the fourth spot in the absence of Kohli, according to a report by Dainik Jagran.

The management is likely to drop opener Prithvi Shaw and wicket-keeper batsman Wriddhiman Saha and give chance to Shubman Gill and Rishabh Pant. Pant left the management much to think about with a 72-ball century in the warm-up match. Gill, on the other hand, had an impressing outing in the Indian Premier League 2020 and would be keen to prove his worth for the national team in the longest format of the game.  

The first two changes are inevitable, while the other two have been necessitated by dismal performances in both the innings of the first test. India was reduced to just 36 in the second innings -- its lowest score ever, and the seventh lowest by any team in the history of Test cricket.

Kohli was the highest run scorer in the first innings and his absence would be a major disadvantage for the visitors already trailing 1-0 in the four-match series. The second match will be played at the MCG from December 26.

Posted By: Lakshay Raja