Former India captain Anil Kumble has put his weight behind Mayank Agarwal to be included in the India playing XI for the third Test of the four match series against Australia, starting Wednesday. The series is currently locked at 1-1 after India won the first Test in Adelaide, followed by the hosts taking the second in Perth.

Indian openers KL Rahul and Murali Vijay have been ineffective in the first two Tests and Kumble feels that it is time for a change at the top of the order. In four innings, Vijay has scores of (11 & 18) and (0 & 20) while Rahul has scored (2 & 44) and (2 & 0).

“I would certainly have Mayank Agarwal in the eleven, I think it is nice to get a youngster, kind of energy that you need, we have seen Hanuma Vihari perform, we have seen Kuldeep Yadav perform, we have seen Rishabh Pant perform then why not have Mayank Agarwal in the mix,” Kumble told Cricketnext.

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“I need five bowlers, because the fast bowlers are tired you won’t go with any other fast bowlers to be playing so it would be Shami, Bumrah and Ishant these three fast bowlers need backing up, two spinners I would go with experience, Ashwin and Jadeja both can bat as well. So those are you bottom five.”

“So will go with Hanuma Vihari, try and push him up the order. And then have Pujara, Virat and Ajinkya and Rishabh Pant as your wicket-keeper,” he added.

The former India coach also believes that India will win the Boxing Day Test to go 2-1 up in the series. Kumble argued that Australia’s batting hasn’t looked formidable that could be a cause of concern for the hosts.

Also Read: ‘They have a settled bowling unit’ – Matthew Hayden predicts series winner

“I think India still has a chance, you know to build on the first two Test matches. I mean the quality is still with India, Australia batting hasn’t look formidable but the challenge is that India has given Australia a little bit of a foot in the door and the challenge is whether Australia will get in or India close the door, we will have to wait and see,” Kumble said.

First Published: Dec 23, 2018 23:31 IST

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