Melbourne: Indian batsman Mayank Agarwal is set to make his Test debut as the BCCI has announced India’s playing XI for the third Test of the Border-Gavaskar trophy against Australia at the Melbourne Cricket Ground starting on Wednesday.
The 27-year-old Agarwal will open for India in the Boxing Day Test as both the opening batsmen -KL Rahul and Murali Vijay- have been dropped for their poor performance among three changes that India made.
Rahul and Vijay had scored 97 runs between themselves in the two Tests with Rahul recording individual scores of 2, 44, 2 and 0, while Vijay had notched 11, 18, 0 and 20.
Agarwal has 3599 first class runs at an average of almost 50 with eight hundreds and 20 fifties in it.
ODI specialist Rohit Sharma and all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja were brought in the playing XI while Hardik Pandya, who had proven his fitness in the Ranji Trophy, was not included. Ace spinner R Ashwin has been missed out due to injury.
India playing XI: Virat Kohli (C), Ajinkya Rahane (VC), Mayank Agarwal, Hanuma Vihari, Cheteshwar Pujara, Rohit Sharma, Rishabh Pant (WK), Ravindra Jadeja, Mohammed Shami, Ishant Sharma, Jasprit Bumrah.