In response to their humbling defeat in the second Test in Perth, where they were beaten by 143 runs, India has made three changes to their side for the third Test in Melbourne, which is headlined by the exclusion of both their openers.
KL Rahul and Murali Vijay, who opened in the first two Tests, managed to score a meager 97 runs between them in the eight innings. And the selectors have decided to inject freshness up at top by removing both of them, and confirming a Test debut for Mayank Agarwal .
Rahul has been directly swapped with Agarwal, while Vijay's place in the side has been taken by Rohit Sharma, who returns from injury. The 'Hitman' will slot in at No.6, meaning Hanuma Vihari will open the batting.
Another big decision which Indian skipper Virat Kohli has taken is to forego the four-man pace attack. In Perth, the Indian team lacked a spinner who could compliment and allow pacers a breather. Hence, keeping that and the pitch in mind, Ravindra Jadeja has been brought into the playing XI at the expense of Umesh Yadav, the least threatening of the four pacers in Perth.
India playing XI for third Test: 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