Kohli consolidates top spot in ICC Test batting charts

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At the start of the series if Australia was told that the series will be all square heading into the Boxing Day Test match they would have been quietly satisfied.

Explaining the reason for Jadeja's non-selection in the recently-concluded second Test against Australia, the statement added that after the recurrence of his injury symptoms during their practice match against Cricket Australia XI, "the management and the all-rounder were of the opinion that the intensity of his bowling in the nets could have been higher, to match the standards required for such an intensely fought series".

The pair had some testy exchanges in the second Test at Perth, which at one point needed the umpire to intervene.

During the early rounds of the Sheffield Shield, head curator Matt Page has attempted to inject more life into the drop-in wicket by putting a layer of sand between the concrete base and the pitch trays and leaving more grass on the pitch, methods expected to be repeated for the Test.

During the Boxing Day Test at the MCG in 2014, Kohli - when on 84 during his first-innings 169 - defended out of his crease to Johnson, who went to throw down the stumps. Then perhaps both of them or Jadeja has still not recovered or Ashwin has recovered.

"Apart from Jadeja, I don't think there was any other selection dilemma and if there was, it is not my problem", Shastri replied with his usual swagger. Rohit is a giant in the limited overs format and opening with him could have been a defining moment in his Test career, if he succeeds. Team India has no worldwide commitments from April 5 to May 29, so the twelfth edition of the Indian Premier League might be played somewhere in that window. Dropping Vihari after a good performance at Perth would have been grossly unfair.

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Similarly, having Rohit in the XI bolsters India's batting. "For me, what has worked for me is being comfortable where I am playing, not necessarily looking at how hard the wicket is but if you are able to feel comfortable there, you are more or less in control of what you want to do", he said.

India's third change is pertaining to their bowling attack. The Indian team received criticism for going in with four fast bowlers and no recognised spinner even though they had left-arm spinner Ravindra Jadeja in the final 13 and wrist spinner Kuldeep Yadav in the squad.

In 2017, Team India played the majority of their cricket at home apart from the ICC Champions Trophy and the tours of the Caribbean and South Africa whereas in the current year, the team has played a majority of their matches on away soils as they continued their tour of South Africa and went on to play in the United Kingdom and are now touring Australia.

Hogg said that India would need to find balance going into the third Test to put Australia under pressure. He understands that his favourite sports persons just play a small, but significant part in the glorious history of various sports, but no sports person is above sports.

'When he came here he felt some stiffness and he felt that in India as well, but he played domestic cricket after that.