Shubman Gill and Mohammed Siraj will make their Test debuts against Australia in the second Boxing Day Test match at MCG, that begins on December 26. Ravindra Jadeja and Rishabh Pant made their comebacks into the playing eleven. Gill replaced the out of form, Prithvi Shaw in the lineup whereas Siraj replaced the injured, Mohammed Shami.
The spot which was left vacant by Virat Kohli was awarded to Ravindra Jadeja who makes his comeback after suffering a concussion in the first T20I against the same opponents. Rishabh Pant will play his first international game after the New Zealand series earlier this year, replacing Saha.
Shubman Gill will finally make his much-awaited Test debut. The Indian batsman made his ODI debut against the same opponents in the third ODI. Gill averages 69 at a strike rate of 74 in first class cricket. Shaw has found himself out of the playing eleven after consistent poor performances with the bat. He was out bowled in the first over in the first innings and in the fourth over of the second innings.
Gill’s fellow debutant, Siraj had made a strong case for himself to be included in the playing eleven after good performances in both practice games. However, India’s record with bowlers making their Test debuts overseas has been disastrous with just Jasprit Bumrah playing more than one Test.
However, Siraj is much better prepared to make his Test debut against a top notch opponent. Since 2015, Siraj has made 15 appearances for India A, second to only Shahbaz Nadeem who has played 19 matches. The last time, India handed debuts to two or more players in the same match was against West Indies in 2011 when Virat Kohli, Praveen Kumar and Abhinav Mukund were handed their maiden Test caps.