Australia win toss, opt to bat against India

Australia win toss, opt to bat on Day 1 of Boxing Day Test

While Australia made no changes to their lineup, India made four

Australia's Marnus Labuschagne watches the screen as he awaits a decision on the first day of the second cricket Test match between Australia and India played at the MCG in Melbourne. Credit: AFP

Australian captain Tim Paine won the toss and elected to bat in the second Test against India at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on Saturday.

The visitors made four changes to the team that was beaten by eight wickets in the opening Test at Adelaide, where they were skittled for 36 in their second innings.

Opener Prithvi Shaw was dropped with Shubman Gill replacing him to make his debut, while Mohammad Siraj also earns a first cap in place of injured pace spearhead Mohammed Shami.

Rishabh Pant takes over from Wriddhiman Saha as wicketkeeper while experienced allrounder Ravindra Jadeja is back from injury to strengthen their bowling attack.

"Really excited for Shubman and Siraj, they have worked really hard and have great records," said Ajinkya Rahane, the stand-in skipper after Virat Kohli returned home for the birth of his first child.

"Jadeja is a quality all-rounder and adds that balance as well."

Australia kept the same XI, with Joe Burns opening alongside Matthew Wade in the absence of the injured David Warner, with all-rounder Cameron Green earning his second cap in the middle order.

"We spoke about a lot of things after winning (Adelaide), and a series win is more important than individual wins," said Australia captan Tim Paine. "We have great depth in our side."

Up to 30,000 fans are allowed into the Melbourne Cricket Ground, around one-third capacity, on a fine day.

Australia: Joe Burns, Matthew Wade, Marnus Labuschagne, Steve Smith, Travis Head, Cameron Green, Tim Paine (capt), Pat Cummins, Mitchell Starc, Nathan Lyon, Josh Hazlewood

India: Mayank Agarwal, Shubman Gill, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane, Hanuma Vihari, Rishabh Pant, Ravindra Jadeja, Ravi Ashwin, Umesh Yadav, Mohammad Siraj, Jasprit Bumrah

Umpires: Rod Tucker (AUS), Paul Reiffel (AUS)

TV umpire: Bruce Oxenford (AUS)

Match referee: David Boon (AUS)

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