Anil Kumble Picks Mayank Agarwal and Hanuma Vihari As Openers for India Team Ahead Boxing Day Test Against Australia: Read His First XI Here
File Image | Anil Kumble | Former Indian Head Coach | (Photo Credits: Getty Images)

“I would certainly have Mayank Agarwal in the eleven,” said former Indian head coach Anil Kumble when asked about the team composition India should pick against Australia for the crucial third Test match at the Melbourne Cricket Ground. The former Indian cricketer suggested that the newly included youngsters, say Hanuma Vihari, Kuldeep Yadav, and Rishabh Pant, have performed well recently, and the inclusion of Mayank would only bolster the Indian team.

Speaking to CricketNext, Kumble said, “I would certainly have Mayank Agarwal in the eleven, I think it is nice to get a youngster, kind of energy that you need, we have seen Hanuma Vihari perform, we have seen Kuldeep Yadav perform, we have seen Rishabh Pant perform then why not have Mayank Agarwal in the mix.” Hardik Pandya Bowls for the First Time After Injury, Check out the Pics of Team India Practice Session Ahead of 2018 Boxing Day Test.

Kumble said that he would have adopted the 5-bowler strategy in the Boxing Day Test. Kumble commented, “I need five bowlers, because the fast bowlers are tired you won’t go with any other fast bowlers to be playing so it would be Shami, Bumrah and Ishant these three fast bowlers need backing up, two spinners I would go with experience, Ashwin and Jadeja both can bat as well. So those are your bottom five.”

The former coach of the Indian team included Hanuma Vihari in his team for India vs Australia third Test match. Speaking further on the XI, Kumble said, “Will go with Hanuma, and try to push him up the order (with Mayank Agarwal). And then have (Cheteshwar) Pujara, Virat (Kohli), and Ajinkya (Rahane), and Rishabh Pant as your wicket-keeper.” Ravi Shastri Defends Virat Kohli’s on-field Antics Ahead of Boxing Day Test at MCG, Says ‘He is an Absolute Gentleman’.

Anil Kumble said that India had a strong chance of going 2-1 up in the 4-match Test series. Kumble said that the hosts haven’t looked formidable yet, and it will be interesting to see if Australia has the last laugh, or India.

Kumble further added, “I think India still has a chance, you know to build on the first two Test matches. I mean the quality is still with India, Australia batting hasn’t look formidable, but the challenge is that India has given Australia a little bit of a foot in the door and the challenge is whether Australia will get in or India close the door, we will have to wait and see.” Virat Kohli 82 Runs Away From Smashing This Rahul Dravid’s Record at Boxing Day Test Against Australia.

Anil Kumble's XI for India ahead of MCG Test against Australia: Hanuma Vihari, Mayank Agarwal, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli, Ajinkya Rahane, Rishabh Pant, Ravichandran Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Ishant Sharma, Mohammed Shami, and Jasprit Bumrah.

The Test series is currently levelled at 1-1, with the third Test scheduled to begin at the Melbourne Cricket Ground, starting December 26. With inclusions of Hardik Pandya, Mayank Agarwal in the team and Ravindra Jadeja being available for selection, it will be interesting to see how the Indian team picks its first XI. Stay tuned with us for all the latest updates about India vs Australia 2018-19 Test Series!