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HomeCricket NewsAustralia vs India 3rd Test Preview + Dream11

Australia vs India 3rd Test Preview + Dream11



Last Updated on 5 years by Charbel Coorey

Australia vs India 3rd Test Preview + Dream11

Two cracking Test matches. Two fine bowling attacks. Series level 1-1. Boxing Day Test.

Does it get much better than this?

Certainly not. Arch-rivals Australia and India will go at it in what is turning out to be one of the most fascinating Test series in Australia in recent times. The pitches aren’t flat, the banter is high and the desire to win sky high.

Australia vs India 3rd Test Preview + Dream11 Prediction Cricket Blog CricBlog Cricket Preview
Australia vs India 3rd Test Preview + Dream11: The two captains have been at it this series.

Australia bounced back superbly in Perth. The conditions and opposition seam bowlers tested what was considered a fragile batting line up after Adelaide, but Australia held their own and played from in front from the first morning of the Test. Virat Kohli was aiming to make his presence felt, and while he did with a magnificent first innings century, Australia held their own when words were minced. Will Australia hold their own in the Boxing Day Test?

That Australia were in front so early in the Test was credit also to India’s team selection. India’s selections hurt them significantly as Saurabh Shinde articulated well in his piece, and with Melbourne to offer up hot weather with a slightly grassy track, India have guarded against the same mistake. KL Rahul and Murali Vijay have been dropped, with Rohit Sharma and Mayank Agarwal likely to open. Will India take a 2-1 series lead in what is their best chance to win a series down under?

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Key to an Australia win

Solid batting efforts were the cornerstone of Australia’s fighting victory in Perth. Virat Kohli admitted in the aftermath that 326 was probably too much, and while some of that was down to India’s team selections, no credit can be taken away from Australia.

Marcus Harris and Aaron Finch, who is fit to play despite a finger injury, will be crucial at the top in weathering the Indian storm. The Indian seamers, especially in the second innings, bowled with such accuracy and intent that it was a shock no wicket was taken. However, that Harris and Finch withstood the initial onslaught was encouraging, and they were backed up well by Usman Khawaja, who will need to carry on from his series-best 72. Will the Marsh brothers also be a factor? Can Tim Paine step up for the second Test in a row? How many runs can the lower order contribute?

Much will rest on the batsmen, again.

However, can Australia’s bowlers effectively target inexperience in India’s line up? The tourists boast a brand new opening pair, and the likes of Josh Hazlewood, Mitchell Starc and Pat Cummins will be key in ensuring that Australia get an early shot at Virat Kohli. Of course, the impact of Nathan Lyon will be also crucial given the warm conditions expected throughout the Test. Consistent, fiery bowling underpinned Australia’s effort in Perth, and a repeat is needed in Melbourne, where Australia can attempt to again gain a significant advantage in the lower order batting of both sides.

Australia vs India 3rd Test Preview + Dream11: Usman Khawaja came back into form with a crucial 72 at Perth.

Key to an India win

A few under par performances from certain players, courtesy of questionable team selection, hurt India badly in Perth. The openers have exposed the batting lineup early all series, which is something Mayank Agarwal and Rohit Sharma need to guard against. Can they see out the new ball so that the likes of Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli and Ajinkya Rahane come out to bat with Nathan Lyon wheeling away early on in a Melbourne Test innings? Can a strong platform be set so that there is no significant pressure on Rishabh Pant and Ravindra Jadeja to score to keep India afloat? In saying that, there is no doubt Ravindra Jadeja’s efforts in the lower order will be crucial to India in this Test.

Also, will it be a Test where India’s seamers deservedly get the big wickets? Ishant Sharma, Mohammed Shami and especially Jasprit Bumrah have been excellent for the most part, and will come up against an Australian batting line up that will need to work hard to repeat their Perth efforts. Marcus Harris and Aaron Finch will be key wickets at the top, so too Usman Khawaja, which is how India can put pressure on perennial slow starters Shaun and Mitch Marsh. With Ravindra Jadeja expected to do plenty of bowling, and no Umesh Yadav to release pressure, India’s seamers can be rotated effectively to maintain the pressure on the Aussies. Will they transfer pressure into wickets?

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Image credit: AFP. Australia vs India 3rd Test Preview + Dream11: Virat Kohli made a brilliant hundred in Perth

Playing XIs

Mitch Marsh has replaced Peter Handscomb in the Australian team.

Australia: 1. Aaron Finch, 2. Marcus Harris, 3. Usman Khawaja, 4. Shaun Marsh, 5. Travis Head, 6. Mitchell Marsh, 7. Tim Paine (c & wk), 8. Pat Cummins, 9. Mitchell Starc, 10. Nathan Lyon, 11. Josh Hazlewood

India have confirmed their XI for this Test. KL Rahul and Murali Vijay have been dropped. So too Umesh Yadav. Ravi Ashwin is still not fully recovered from his sidestrain.

India: 1. Mayank Agarwal, 2. Rohit Sharma, 3. Cheteshwar Pujara, 4. Virat Kohli (c), 5. Ajinkya Rahane, 6. Hanuma Vihari, 7. Rishabh Pant (wk), 8. Ravindra Jadeja, 9. Mohammed Shami, 10. Ishant Sharma, 11. Jasprit Bumrah

Pitch and conditions

MCG chief curator Matthew Page has promised a lively track. Compared to last year’s terrible MCG pitch, anything can be considered lively.

However, with the weather expected to be in the mid-high 30s throughout the Test, expect the pitch to dry out quickly and become good for batting on days two and three. Marcus Harris, who recently scored 250 for Victoria at the MCG, said not to be fooled by the grass. The question will be whether this pitch breaks up significantly on the final two days.


Should be a cracking third Test. Below are Dream11 options with a few pointers.

Team 1:

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Australia vs India 3rd Test Preview + Dream11: Team 1

Team 2 (preferred):

Australia vs India 3rd Test Preview + Dream11: Team 2
  • Josh Hazlewood is always a good option. However, he averages 38.80 with the ball in four Tests at the MCG. Pat Cummins gets the nod for his good lower order batting, plus he isn’t too far away from the big wickets.
  • Marcus Harris recently hit 250 at the MCG in Shield Cricket. He is in fine form.
  • Virat Kohli is my C, with Cheteshwar Pujara a key pick.
  • Hanuma Vihari showed good signs in Perth.
  • Ravindra Jadeja is key given he will play a big role for India.
  • Nathan Lyon is my VC. Mitchell Starc gets in my side for his ability to clean up the tail and his lower order runs.

Stats and Facts

  • Australia have not lost a Boxing Day Test since England in 2010/11.
  • Mitchell Starc needs four wickets to reach 200 in Tests.
  • A century from Virat Kohli will give him six centuries in 2018. This will place him second to Sachin Tendulkar’s tally of seven in a single calendar year (2010); the most for an India player.


Huge Test. Can’t wait for it to begin.

The toss will be crucial. I believe that the pitch will be a decent one for batting, as the hot weather will dry it out pretty quickly. A draw is certainly not out of the picture – I will predict a draw.

Thanks for reading!

P.S. I recently partnered with the awesome team at 

Hope you enjoy my cricket tips on the OnlineCricStore Blog!

Australia vs India 3rd Test Preview + Dream11

Charbel Coorey
Charbel Coorey
Charbel is the owner & founder of, based in Sydney, Australia. He started the website to fulfill his love for the game of cricket. Charbel has also been featured on other publications including OP India, Times of India, and The Roar, among others. For any story tips or questions, you can contact Charbel at

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