The Australian team made a spectacular comeback in the Perth Test and have leveled the series 1-1 against India. The significant win in the second Test has certainly boosted the morale of the home team however the team management still has plenty of issues to sort out.
One such issue is to find the perfect playing XI against India and for this Peter Handscomb is likely to be replaced by all-rounder Mitchell Marsh.
The solidarity brought by Travis Head in the lower-middle order has in some aspect overshadowed the mediocre performance of Aussie middle-order.
The lean patch of Peter Handscomb is especially a big issue for the team management as the right-hand batsman has failed to make any significant contribution in four innings so far. In two Tests, he has scored 34, 14, 7 and 13 runs so far.
The Indian bowlers have found a way to breach Handscomb’s defense and have consistently troubled him. The failure of the right-hand batsman has made the already weak Australian batting even more vulnerable.
On the other hand, Mitchell Marsh too didn’t have a good time in his recent Tests. He fared poorly in the Test series against Pakistan which cost him his place.
But with Handscomb struggling in the middle-order Paine and Justin Langer can push Marsh in the team and can check whether can he bring anything different to the table.
Marsh’s bowling skills are obviously a plus as it reduces the work-load of frontline bowlers. On the Melbourne pitch which is expected to be batting friendly, Australia might want to have the cushion of the fifth-bowler to ensure they pick 20 wickets.
Apart from Handscomb’s omission, Langer may go for a similar playing XI. The three pacers and one spinner combination has worked well for the hosts while Aaron Finch has proved his worth as well.
The third Test between the two teams will begin on December 26th at Melbourne.