India drop Suryakumar yadav; Australia pull selection surprise

India drop Suryakumar yadav; Australia pull selection surprise
India drop Suryakumar yadav; Australia pull selection surprise. Photo Credit: Getty Images.

Australia won the toss and had no hesitation in electing to bat first in Delhi as both sides make important changes to their playing XI.

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Australia have shuffled their XI for the second Test against India in Delhi, with left-hand batter Travis Head and uncapped spinner Matthew Kuhnemann earning a call-up for the crucial contest.

The decision to recall Head comes after he was controversially left out of the XI for the opening Test of the series in Nagpur, where Australia fell to a disappointing innings and 132-run loss to India.

Australia great Ricky Ponting said on The ICC Review that he was not surprised by the decision to leave Head out of the side, but the 29-year-old earns a recall after Australia’s brittle batting line-up failed to stand up during the opening Test.

But it’s the inclusion of the uncapped Kuhnemann that raised the most eyebrows, with the left-armer thrust straight into Australia’s XI after being given a late call-up to replace Mitchell Swepson.

It means Kuhnemann is included alongside veteran tweaker Nathan Lyon and inexperienced off-spinner Todd Murphy, fresh from his seven-wicket haul in the opening Test of the series when on debut.

Photo Credit: Getty Images.

It also leaves skipper Pat Cummins as the only pace option at Australia’s disposal, with right-armer Scott Boland and Matthew Renshaw the two players to make way.

India have made just the one change to the side that cruised to victory in the opening Test this month and in the process moved one step closer to booking their place at June’s ICC World Test Championship Final at The Oval.

Rahul Dravid said Shreyas Iyer will ‘walk straight into the side’ if he was deemed the back injury that forced him to miss the first Test and the India coach was true to his word as the attacking right-hander wins a place in the XI for the omitted Suryakumar Yadav.

Suryakumar managed a score of just eight on Test debut against Australia and Iyer earns his place back in India’s XI following consecutive half-centuries for his side against Bangladesh at the end of last year in Chattogram and Mirpur.

The match in Delhi will the 100th Test appearance for Cheteshwar Pujara, with the experienced batter becoming just the 13th Indian Men’s player to reach the milestone.

India: Rohit Sharma, KL Rahul, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli, Shreyas Iyer, KS Bharat (wk), Ravinda Jadeja, R Ashwin, Axar Patel, Mohammed Shami, Mohammed Siraj

Australia: David Warner, Usman Khawaja, Marnus Labuschagne, Steven Smith, Travis Head, Peter Handscomb, Alex Carey (wk), Pat Cummins (c), Todd Murphy, Nathan Lyon, Matthew Kuhnemann


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