Test Cricket report with the (2020-21) 2nd Test preview of Australia XI squad v India

by Sports Benches

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The work continues for Australia going into the 2nd Test today v India. The Boxing Day Test has arrived at Melbourne Cricket Ground. There will be two more tests after this in this series. But they need two more wins to have the trophy taken back home.

There has been talk about the 3rd Test possibly relocated from Sydney. It is because of the recent COVID cases occurred in the Northern Beaches.

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Cricket Australia may consider back to back Tests in Melbourne. But best to put it in Canberra, Geelong or Hobart. Even in a domed stadium down in the Docklands region. It will not be too far away from
The MCG. But how about have a Test match there without the halt of rain?

These ideas are only suggestions. I am sure CA will come a decision up by New Year’s day. We will now look at how Australia will assemble their XI today.

The tail end & bowling armour will remain unchanged. Unless injury niggles picked up over the next five days. Josh Hazlewood should continue his fine work with the ball & on the field. Mitchell Starc joins Josh to share the workload. Nathan Lyon continues to steer the lone spinning department. And Pat Cummins as second change in the quicks behind Josh & Mitch.

Tim Paine remains as the skipper as well as wicket-keeper batsman. He was outstanding in the last test. Not only Tim saved the game with the bat in their 1st innings. But he made decent catches too in the India unexpected 2nd innings. His expertise & leadership is very important.

Cameron Green will keep his place at No.6 for Australia. He may not have picked a wicket in the 1st spell. But Cam fired off not bad with the bat. We would need to see more of him today. And see the finished product as a seaming all-rounder.

Travis Head would be given another reprieve at No.5. He has not been in good form lately. But he must do well in this Test before Dave Warner comes back. Not necessarily see Dave bat at 5. But shuffle Matty Wade back to Head’s place. The ball is on Travis to get the job done. And prove to selectors why they chose him.

Steve Smith is unremovable at No.4 despite his poor 1st Test. I am sure he will bounce back. And get the runs Australia need to build. But I do not think he will be replaced unless the form gets very worse.

Marnus Labuschagne remains at first drop. He has provided the much needed runs in the 1st innings. And helped Joe Burns wrap up the 1st Test win. This is his best position. And Marnus continues to be a key target against the Indian bowlers.

Matthew Wade may have fallen trap not that long v Jasprit Bumrah. He has to adjust his new role as Opener thanks to Dave Warner’s groin injury. But Matty batted okay in the 2nd spell on 33. Only for him to get run out via a mix up with Joe. And Wriddi Saha stumped him. He needs a big score in this test. So Matty can keep his role. It does not mean he can be dropped though. He can comeback in the middle-order when Warner returns.

Joe Burns was almost very close to be axed after a poor 1st spell. But he proved us wrong in the 2nd innings with a match winning 51 not out. It eased his recent slump thanks to the bowlers fine work. He also worn an arm guard too. So keep it that way Joe. It will boost his confidence going into this test. Then everyone get behind him & score a scorching 100. It matters with the right support system.

So that leaves with an unchanged squad for the 2nd Test. It is good to never change a winning team. And the strength of the India squad is somewhat weakened. They do not have Virat Kohli for the rest of this series. Virat returned home & be here for the birth of his baby.

Australia has to take this advantage right now. And stay there so the Border-Gavaskar trophy goes back to their hands. You can watch it live for Free on Channel 7 (Linear TV only). And via streaming/cable on Kayo & Fox Cricket.

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