Agarwal to be 26th Karnataka player to make Test debut

Opener included in the playing XI for the third Test; Vijay, Rahul dropped

Mayank Agarwal. (DH File Photo)

Mayank Agarwal will become the 26th player from Karnataka to make Test debut after the right-hander was included in the playing XI that the Indian team announced for the Boxing Day Test here on Tuesday.

Agarwal, who was included in the squad as a replacement for the injured Prithvi Shaw, comes into the side at the expense of one of the openers – M Vijay and K L Rahul both of whom were left out for the third Test which starts on Wednesday. Rohit Sharma, who has recovered from the side strain he sustained in the first Test while fielding, takes the other spot. It will be, however, Hanuma Vihari who will be opening the innings along with Agarwal.

Left-arm spinner Ravindra Jadeja, whose exclusion from the second Test raised a lot of heckles, was also included in the side.

Mayank inclusion became imminent as the team couldn’t have gone into the crucial match with Vijay and Rahul looking out of sorts. While Vijay has tallied 49 from four innings on this tour, Rahul has aggregated 48, also from four innings.

Rahul, Agarwal’s team-mate for a long time in Karnataka and India under-19 side, had also made his Test debut at the iconic MCG exactly four years ago. Agarwal is the third player to get a Test cap from Karnataka’s same batch of batsmen after Rahul and Karun Nair (in 2016 against England in Mohali).

Meanwhile, Australia have made one change to their side that played in the Perth. The hosts have brought in fast-bowling all-rounder Mitchell Marsh in place Peter Handscomb.

The four-Test series for the Border-Gavaskar Trophy is level at 1-1.

Team:

Australia XI: Aaron Finch, Marcus Harris, Usman Khawaja, Shaun Marsh, Travis Head, Mitch Marsh, Tim Paine (captain/wk), Pat Cummins, Mitchell Starc, Nathan Lyon, Josh Hazlewood.

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

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Agarwal to be 26th Karnataka player to make Test debut

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