3rd Test: India opt to bat against Australia

WION Web Team
Melbourne VIC, AustraliaUpdated: Dec 26, 2018, 05:49 AM IST

File photo of India skipper Virat Kohli with vice-captain Ajinkya Rahane. Photograph:(AFP)

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The hosts defeated India in the second Test to level the series 1-1.

Virat Kohli won the toss and opted to bat in the third Test against Australia at the Melbourne Cricket Ground, Melbourne on Wednesday.

Speaking after the toss, Kohli said, " We will make the first use of this surface. This pitch looks like a nice one but it looks bit dry. So, it is going to become slower and slower. We are taking this Test as the last Test of this tour. We want to be at our best for this match."

"We have made three changes to the team. Hanuma Vihari has batted at three all his life, he has shown good technique and he will open. We considered opening with Rohit but he is so dangerous with the tail-enders so we wanted him to play freely. Jadeja has come in place of Umesh Yadav."

The hosts defeated India in the second Test to level the series 1-1.

Talking about their strategy for today, captain Tim Paine said, " I wasn't too sure what to do so I am happy to be bowling. We have a pretty inexperienced group so a win certainly helps. I would have laughed if someone would have told me last year that I will be the skipper for the Australian team in the next Boxing Day Test. Archie wanted to bat 100% but I told him that I was not entirely sure."

Australia (Playing XI):
Marcus Harris, Aaron Finch, Usman Khawaja, Shaun Marsh, Travis Head, Mitchell Marsh, Tim Paine(w/c), Pat Cummins, Mitchell Starc, Nathan Lyon, Josh Hazlewood

India (Playing XI): Mayank Agarwal, Hanuma Vihari, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli(c), Ajinkya Rahane, Rohit Sharma, Rishabh Pant(w), Ravindra Jadeja, Mohammed Shami, Ishant Sharma, Jasprit Bumrah