India vs Australia 3rd Test: Team news and playing XI for both sides in Ranchi

Deepak Vikraman
Ravindra Jadeja, Virat Kohli, India, Australia, Test Series 2017

India could make a change or two – Virat Kohli just doesn't like to go with the same playing XI for a second straight Test match – and Australia will definitely have to bring in, at least, two new faces to the team for the third Test match in Ranchi.

3rd Test in Ranchi - things to look forward to

While India ended up on the winning side in Bengaluru, there were a few eyebrows raised when the team went with the extra batsman in Karun Nair at the expense of Jayant Yadav.

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Karun might not have scored too many runs, but just the feeling of having an extra batsman helped the rest of the batting order, and with India going on to win by 75 runs with more than a day remaining, playing with four bowlers proved to be the right decision.

Kohli said that decision was taken after looking at the previous results in Bengaluru, which showed one bowler running away with the innings, which meant going with an extra batsman was an option.

Will India go with the same strategy again?

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Much will depend on the Ranchi pitch.

If it is bowler-friendly, like the previous two Tests, four bowlers should do, especially with the week-long rest that the players have had.

However, if it is going to be a low and slow track, without all the cracks, where wickets are not going to be easy to come by, then Virat Kohli might need to have a rethink and bring in the extra bowler.

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Who that extra bowler could be is the interesting question.

Jayant Yadav looked quite limited on that helpful pitch in Pune, so would Kohli take a punt on Kuldeep Yadav, who will bring in extra variety being a left-arm chinaman bowler?

That is unlikely, and while Karun wasn't especially impressive – he should have been given a real talking to for the shot he played in the second innings – the batsman might get another chance, purely because of the brittle nature of India's batting at the moment.

One change that is expected to be made, though, is Murali Vijay, who missed the last Test with a shoulder injury, coming in for Abhinav Mukund, who did not have the greatest of times with the bat in his first Test game since 2011.

Glenn Maxwell, Australia, India, Test series 2017, Ranchi

Australia will definitely have to make two changes, after their two Mitchells – Starc and Marsh – were ruled out of the rest of the series. Starc suffered a stress fracture on his ankle in the Bengaluru Test, while Marsh just underwent surgery on his shoulder, which is set to rule him out of IPL 2017 as well.

Pat Cummins and Marcus Stoinis have been called up and while Cummins, despite Jackson Bird also being in the squad, looks like a certainty – unless there are fitness issues – Stoinis will have to battle it out with Usman Khawaja, Ashton Agar and Glenn Maxwell for a place in the Australia playing XI.

Considering how much India have struggled against the spinners in this series -- Nathan Lyon is expected to be fine after recovering from a cut in his finger -- giving Maxwell or Agar a go might not be a bad idea, even if the two aren't the scariest of spin bowlers.

Expected playing XI:

India: KL Rahul, Murali Vijay, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli (C), Ajinkya Rahane, Karun Nair, R Ashwin, Wriddhiman Saha, Ravindra Jadeja, Umesh Yadav, Ishant Sharma.

Australia: Matt Renshaw, David Warner, Steven Smith (C), Shaun Marsh, Peter Handscombe, Glenn Maxwell, Matthew Wade, Pat Cummins, Steve O'Keefe, Nathan Lyon, Josh Hazlewood.

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