World Test Championship Final Must Be Goal, Motivation For Rahane-led Revamped India
INDIA VS AUSTRALIA | BORDER - GAVASKAR TROPHY | 2ND TEST, MCG PREVIEW
Boxing Day means wrapping gifts in boxes and giving and not wearing gloves and getting into the ring.
Team India, spearheaded by Ajinkya Rahane have this herculean task of starting well tomorrow in the Boxing Day Test.
They'll have to start so well that their performance at the end of Day One must rekindle the confidence of Indian cricket fans.
A brilliant day's performance would act like a soothing gift to the hurting fans.
India's former captain, batting legend and commentator Sunil Gavaskar was quoted by Australia's 7Cricket in a tweet saying mockingly: "All I can think of is the Indians are in a Christmas mood. Giving their Christmas gifts a week early."
Gavaskar, who's back in the news and trending, had said those words after Prithvi Shaw had dropped Marnus Labuschagne during the first Test.
Meanwhile, Virat Kohli has left captaincy, the team and Australia after speaking his mind on the "lack of intent" by team members.
He believed this missing intent and complacency from a 69-run first innings lead, triggered their historic 36 second innings all out and defeat in the Pink Ball Test in Adelaide.
In Kohli's paternity leave absence, Rahane will lead the side using several changes to the team that played the first Test.
KL Rahul was obviously primed to fill the void Kohli has left.
However, the team thinktank seem to have decided otherwise and continue to make him sit in the dressing room.
Mohammed Siraj too seem to have edged Navdeep Saini in contesting to take up injured Mohammed Shami's place.
Shubman Gill, among the brightest batting talent who has caught the eye of legends Sachin Tendulkar, Gavaskar, Allan Border and few others is definitely expected to replace Shaw, whose form is suspect.
Fans will have lot of questions to ask as specialist Test wicket-keeper Wridhiman Saha is benched and Rishabh Pant asked to play instead.
There's also update that Ravindra Jadeja has passed the fitness test and has qualified to earn his place in the playing eleven.
On their part, Australia have indicated that they'll continue with an unchanged team from the first Test.
The Aussies have their tail up and will be looking to consolidate their position atop the ICC World Test Championship.
Rahane-led revamped India have this World Test Championship final in June 2021 in the United Kingdom as their biggest goal and motivation to bounce back into the 4-Test Border - Gavaskar Trophy series.
"It's important to be prepared but you can't pre plan anything in a Test match," Kohli had said while he was in Australia, adding, "Test cricket is all about encountering situations and reacting to those situations to the best of your abilities."
He had also told the media that "Jinks [Ajinkya Rahane] has done a tremendous job in the two practice games, the tour games that have happened and he seems to be very composed and he knows the strength of our team and how we need to go about it.
"I'm sure he'll do a tremendous job in my absence."
Die hard Indian cricket fans would want to jump at these bold statements from Kohli and before you could check the English version of this popular saying, scream out "tumhaare mooh mein ghee shakkar."
The Alerting message is: The Aussies pre plan few things before a Test match. They are likely to have worked out a different plan than bouncers, fuller length deliveries for the second Test.