India win toss, opt to bat against Australia in second test

By | March 4, 2017

BENGALURU: India captain Virat Kohli won the toss and opted to bat in the second match of their four-test series against an unchanged Australia at the M. Chinnaswamy Stadium on Saturday.

The hosts, who saw their 19-match unbeaten streak halted in the series opener in Pune, made two changes to the side that lost by 333 runs and inside three days to Australia.

One was a forced change as opening batman Murali Vijay was ruled out due to a shoulder injury he sustained while fielding in Pune.

He was replaced by left-handed Abhinav Mukund, who played the last of his five tests almost six years ago against England at Nottingham.

Hosts India, the world’s top ranked test side, also decided to strengthen their batting by drafting in Karun Nair for spin-bowling all-rounder Jayant Yadav.

Nair scored an unbeaten 303 in his last test against England in Chennai in December.

“We come here fresh, we come here learning from that game in Pune. And a good toss to win,” Kohli said at the toss. “Looks like a good track to bat on so we would like to put some big runs on the board.

“The guys are going to come out with much more intent in this game.

“Looks like a typical Bangalore wicket, pretty good to bat on. First three days of the game should be nice and good for batting. At the same time the bowlers are always in play in Bangalore.”

Australia captain Steve Smith has already announced that his side will be unchanged from the first test.

“There are a few cracks and it’s going to be important to score big first innings runs,” Smith said. “Obviously we have to start well here this morning with the ball. Hopefully we can do that and take few early wickets.”


India: Abhinav Mukund, Lokesh Rahul, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli (captain), Ajinkya Rahane, Karun Nair, Wriddhiman Saha (wicketkeeper), Ravichandran Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Umesh Yadav, Ishant Sharma

Australia: David Warner, Matt Renshaw, Steve Smith (captain), Shaun Marsh, Peter Handscomb, Mitchell Marsh, Matthew Wade (wicketkeeper), Mitchell Starc, Steve O’Keefe, Josh Hazlewood, Nathan Lyon

(Editing by Peter Rutherford)

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