Home team Australia have made one change to their playing XI for the Boxing Day Test match that will be played at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) in Melbourne. All-rounder Mitchell Marsh replacing out-of-form Peter Handscomb, has come into the side that defeated India by a massive margin of 146 runs in Perth to square the 4-match series.
The drop was always on the cards as Handscomb was not very effective in the recent past with the bat. And his scores of 34, 14, 7 and 13 playing as a pure batsman in the side too didn’t help him to retain his place in the playing XI. Moreover, all-rounder Mitch Marsh can share the workload when their front line bowlers are tired.
“It’s a long series, our bowlers have had a really big workload and we feel we’re going to need Mitch’s bowling at some point. I’m sure Pete would be upset. I think he’s had conversations with the selectors that there’s a few things they would like him to work on and Pete is open to that,” said Australian Test captain Tim Paine on the Boxing Day Test eve.
“Pete at his best is going to score a lot of Test runs and not just his batting, he brings a hell of a lot to our side in terms of his fielding, his experience and just the way he generally goes about his cricket. We’re sure he’ll score a lot more runs for Australia,” added Paine.
The 4-match Test series between Australia and India is nicely poised at the moment with both teams winning a game each. India won the 1st Test match at the Adelaide Oval by a margin of 31 runs while Australia made a comeback with the 146-run win in the 2nd Test match in Perth.
Australia Playing XI for Boxing Day Test Match: Aaron Finch, Marcus Harris, Usman Khawaja, Shaun Marsh, Travis Head, Mitchell Marsh, Tim Paine (c & wk), Pat Cummins, Mitchell Starc, Nathan Lyon, Josh Hazlewood.
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