Australia vs India 2018/19: Rohit Sharma To Play Melbourne Test?
High-flying India came crashing down to earth as Australia thrashed them by 146 runs in the second Test to level the series. It was a clinical performance from Australia as they won their first Test under Paine’s captaincy and also the first since the ball-tampering scandal.
Batting first, Australia piled up 326 before bowling out India for 283 to take a 43-run lead. In the second innings, the hosts scored 243 to set India a target of 287. India, however, never looked in contention to chase down the total. They were eventually all out for just 140 in the first session of the final day.
The writing was very on the wall when India’s two remaining batting hopes – Rishabh Pant and Hanuma Vihari – departed inside the first 40 minutes on day five. The lower-order failed miserably once again as India lost their last four wickets for just 4 runs.
With batting failure once again the reason behind yet another dismal performance, India looks set to alter the playing eleven for the penultimate Test. The first and foremost priority will be to change the openers. With both KL Rahul and Murali Vijay flopping, recalled Mayank Agarwal looks set to get a chance in the playing eleven. And another player who looks set to play the third Test is Rohit Sharma. The right-hander had failed to get going in his comeback Test in Adelaide and had lost his place to Hanuma Vihari.
However, with Vihari flopping too, Rohit might get another chance. Moreover, with the Melbourne track set to aid the batsmen more than the bowlers, playing a batsman like Rohit can be a safe option. Rohit’s record in Tests is not very promising but the team-management has shown it is ready to give him an extended run.
There are reports that Rohit might miss the game to attend the birth of his first child. But as of now, nothing is clear and if Rohit stays in Australia for the upcoming game, he looks more than likely to replace Vihari in the playing eleven.
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