India named Prithvi Shaw and Mayank Agarwal as openers for the first Test at Adelaide as visitors revealed their playing XI on Wednesday.
After Shaw failed to impress in the two warm-ups against Australia, Shubman Gill was in the contention to open the innings for the day-night Test starting on Thursday. However, captain Virat Kohli has stuck with Shaw, giving the youngster a chance to show his worth against the likes of Pat Cummins and Nathan Lyon.
— BCCI (@BCCI) December 16, 2020
Rishabh Pant has failed to make the cut into the XI despite scoring a hundred in the second warm-up match as Wriddhiman Saha got the nod. Saha is a better keeper than Pant and that may have pushed his case in the first day-night Test between the two countries.
Rahane will do a tremendous job
Kohli backed his deputy Ajinkya Rahane to "do a tremendous job" in leading the side once he goes on paternity leave after the first Test against Australia and described their relationship as the one built on "trust and mutual respect".
Kohli will head home for the birth of his first child after the day-night game, starting on Thursday, leaving Rahane to captain the side in the remaining three Tests.
"Well, firstly we had a lot of mutual understanding and respect over the years, we have had some great partnerships batting together which is based on trust and understanding on what needs to be done for the team," Kohli said when asked how he sees Rahane faring in his absence.
He believes that both have been on the same page and know how this team functions.
"Jinks 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 strengths of our team and how we need to go about things," he said.
Kohli made it clear that Rahane will certainly follow the template set by him and there is no ambiguity as far as both of them are concerned.
"...we already know the template that we play with and how we want to go about things, so we are absolutely on the same page and I am sure he will do a tremendous job in my absence as well," the skipper seemed very confident.
As of now, Kohli is keen on setting up the base for Rahane to consolidate once he leaves.
"...the focus remains till the time I am here is to be able to provide, you know, captaincy and leadership and performances as a player to the best of my abilities and from then on, I am pretty confident that Jinks will do a tremendous job."
Kohli is confident that Rahane will stand up to the occasion executing the collective vision of the team.
"I have said this previously as well that I feel like this is his time to really step up and perform strongly as an individual and then as a captain as well," he said.
"I think, he will do a great job when I am gone back home, so we are on the same page completely and the vision remains simply to put in good performances and make sure that we are competing every game and the idea is to win the series," he added.
India XI for day-night Test: Virat Kohli (c), Mayank Agarwal, Prithvi Shaw, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane, Hanuma Vihari, Wriddhiman Saha (wk), R Ashwin, Umesh Yadav, Mohammad Shami, Jasprit Bumrah.
(With inputs from PTI)
Find latest and upcoming tech gadgets online on Tech2 Gadgets. Get technology news, gadgets reviews & ratings. Popular gadgets including laptop, tablet and mobile specifications, features, prices, comparison.
First innings heroes Marnus Labuschagne and Steve Smith steered Australia to a commanding 197-run lead in the high-stakes third Test in Sydney Saturday, leaving an injury-hit India with a mountain to climb.
India started day five on 98-2 but despite losing Ajinkya Rahane in the second over, they batted out the day to finish on 334 for five - helped by Paine's three dropped catches behind the stumps.
Check out photos from the drawn third Test between hosts Australia and India at the Sydney Cricket Ground, which concluded on Monday.