Former Indian captain Kris Srikkanth says Australia's batting remains vulnerable without David Warner and backed the tourists to fight from the "bad dream" that was their first Test performance.
Having worked themselves into a strong position during the first Test in Adelaide, India were routed for 36 in their second innings – the nation’s lowest ever Test score.
India’s Mayank Agarwal walks off after being dismissed during the first Test.Credit:AP
The tourists must make at least two changes to the side that was humbled at Adelaide Oval, following the return home of captain Virat Kohli, ahead of the birth of his first child, and the tour-ending fractured wrist suffered by paceman Mohammed Shami while batting during the calamitous second innings.
Speaking from India on Wednesday, former Test captain and chief national selector Srikkanth said he agreed with Kohli’s post-match sentiments that India had batted too timidly in Adelaide.
"I think Virat summed it up very well when he said the positive intent was missing. They went into more of a shell, the Indians," Srikkanth told The Age and the Herald.
"The mindset I think was too defensive. They have to regroup. They have to have a bit more positive intent. The best way is just to go for it.
"But when you miss King Kohli, it's going to make it difficult let's be honest. And Shami [as well]. But I'm sure they'll come out and fight.
"Everybody [in India] is disappointed but then everyone has taken the view [to look at it] as a bad dream."
Srikkanth said that Australia remained beatable, especially in the absence of opener David Warner who remains sidelined as he works his way back from a groin injury.
"Let's not forget, the Aussies' batting is not great. My belief is the Aussies' batting is 30 per cent Warner, 30 per cent Smith, all others put together is 30 per cent. But the bowling is very good.
"The Australian batting is not very strong."
Uncapped opener Shubman Gill is widely tipped to be included for the Boxing Day Test with Prithvi Shaw in the firing line after twin failures in Adelaide.
That could lead to a reshuffle of the batting line up, with the experienced KL Rahul also waiting in the wings for an opportunity.
Quicks Mohammed Siraj, Navdeep Saini and T Natarajan – none of whom have yet played at Test level – appear the main contenders to replace Shami.
Spinning all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja bowled an extended spell during training at the MCG nets on Wednesday, having seemingly overcome the hamstring and concussion issues he suffered during the white-ball portion of India's tour.
Jadeja is yet another option for India's selectors, who could theoretically opt for a five-pronged bowling attack, including Jadeja and fellow tweaker Ravi Ashwin, who starred in Adelaide.
Back-up wicketkeeper Rishabh Pant batted ahead of incumbent gloveman Wriddhiman Saha during Wednesday's session amid widespread calls for Pant to replace the veteran.
Teams have bounced back from humiliating lows before, with Australia beating South Africa in 2011 having been bowled out for 47 in the preceding Test.
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