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India make four changes to playing XI after Adelaide Test drubbing
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India make four changes to playing XI after Adelaide Test drubbing

Shubman Gill and Mohammed Siraj will make their Test debut while Ravindra Jadeja and Rishabh Pant have been recalled into India's side for the Boxing Day Test against Australia at the Melbourne Cricket Ground.

Gill replaces out-of-form Prithvi Shaw at the top of the order after the 21-year-old was dismissed in a similar fashion across both innings of the first Test in Adelaide. Shaw's weakness against the delivery jagging back into the right-handed batsman prompted his exclusion from the side with pundits commenting on the need for technical tweaks in his style of play.

India's Test specialist Wriddhiman Saha makes the way for Pant, who has not donned the national jersey since the New Zealand tour earlier this year.

Mohammed Shami's series-ending injury in the first Test means paceman Siraj has been handed his maiden Test cap for India. Siraj has emerged as the better candidate in the race between him and Navdeep Saini to fill in the vacant fast bowling slot for the second game.

The most striking change of the lot is fit-again Jadeja in place of skipper Virat Kohli, who has gone back to India for the birth of his first child and would miss the remainder of the tour.

Jadeja has been able to recover from a concussion and hamstring injury he endured in the first T20I, during which he hammered an unbeaten 23-ball 44 to help his team post a match-winning total.

The all-rounder's inclusion weakens India's batting combination on the paper and presents the intriguing scenario of two frontline spinners in the playing XI for a Test match at the MCG.

Despite India's proclivity to attack with pace in recent years, Jadeja has been given a nod in these constrained times.

India would be looking to put behind the miserable batting capitulation they suffered in the pink-ball Test. None of the batsmen could reach double figures in India's second innings as the tourists were bundled out for 36 - the country's lowest Test total.

Stand-in captain Ajinkya Rahane focused on India's resolve to do well and mentioned the importance of maintaining a positive attitude.

“Each and every individual in this team is really capable of doing well, so it’s really a challenge for the captain and management to select the 11,” he said in a video conference on the eve of the match.

“We had just one bad hour [in Adelaide]. It’s about staying positive, backing your own ability and batting in partnerships.”