Australia coach Justin Langer has confirmed that the hosts will take on India in the Boxing Day Test with an unchanged playing XI on Saturday. Australian bowlers wreaked havoc on day three of the pink-ball Test. Pat Cummins and Josh Hazlewood took nine wickets between themselves in the second innings as India were restricted to 36/9 in their second essay. Langer said Australia are going with the same playing XI for the second Test unless and until something happens over the next few days.
“I’ll be a pretty courageous man to change the playing XI this Test match after the last one. Unless something happens over the next few days and that can in the world we live but we are going with the same XI,” Langer said in a virtual press-conference on Thursday.
Cricket Australia has confirmed that the crowd capacity for the Boxing Day Test between India and Australia has been increased to 30,000 per day. Earlier, only 25,000 fans were permitted each day inside the MCG for Boxing Day Test, but Cricket Australia has confirmed the increased capacity.
Langer expressed his happiness over the staging of the Boxing Day Test amid the coronavirus pandemic.
“Thirty thousand (crowd) is better than none. And it wasn’t that long ago, probably a few weeks ago that we wonder if we had a Boxing Day Test match in Melbourne. Every time I come here I pinch myself, playing at the MCG I’ve come here a lot. It’s just an amazing stadium, the hype about it and boys love playing here,” said Langer.
“The Indians will love, probably lot would have dreamt of playing here a Test match and thirty thousand is better than none and it certainly provides the atmosphere,” he added.
Also, the Player of the Match of the second Test between Australia and India will be awarded the Mullagh Medal, named after the legendary Johnny Mullagh.
The medal, titled ‘Mullagh Medal’, is named after the skipper of the Australian indigenous side that toured the UK in 1868. It was the first organised group of Australian sporting teams touring internationally.
Meanwhile, David Warner and Sean Abbott have been ruled out of the second Test against India.
Australia’s likely playing XI: Joe Burns, Matthew Wade, Marnus Labuschagne, Steve Smith, Travis Head, Cameron Green, Tim Paine (c, wk), Pat Cummins, Mitchell Starc, Nathan Lyon, Josh Hazlewood.
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