Having been bowled out for 36 in their 8-wicket defeat against Australia at the Adelaide Oval, Team India are likely to make quite a few changes in their playing XI for the Boxing Day Test, with two of them being forced.
While regular skipper Virat Kohli has returned home to attend the birth of his first child, speedster Mohammad Shami has been ruled of the series with a fractured arm.
Opener Prithvi Shaw’s technique has come under the scanner after his mode of dismissals in both the innings at Adelaide, with many cricket greats suggesting that he is not ready for Test cricket yet.
However, former Australia batsman Michael Hussey is among the selected few who wants the visitors to persist with Shaw, citing that the MCG track will suit him more.
“I think that selectors should show some faith in Prithvi Shaw. Yes, he didn’t get any runs in this Test match but it’s one Test, against some quality bowling of a difficult pitch to bat,” Hussey told ESPNCricinfo.
“Joe Burns was averaging less than 7 in FC cricket. The selectors showed faith in him. He got out cheaply in the first innings but he slowly got his confidence back, worked his way through it and you see the character of the guy and he ended up scoring 50 not out,” he added.
Hussey understands that Shaw did not have the best of Tests, but also believes it is unfair to axe him on the basis of one failure.
“For Prithvi Shaw, find out about his character. Show that faith in him, give him that belief and tell him ‘look, we’re backing you’. The Melbourne pitch will suit him a lot more. It certainly won’t have the same pace and bounce. He’s obviously got enormous talent,” Hussey remarked.
“What it does is that it sends a great message to the rest of the team. It’s like ‘Look guys, even if you have a bad Test here or there, we’re not going to lose faith in you’. We know you’re good players and we’ll back you. I firmly believe that selectors should stick with Shaw despite not looking in great touch in the Test match,” he further stated.