Ashwin bowls in nets ahead of Boxing Day

Shastri defends Jadeja decision

With the four-match series tied, the stakes are high for the third Test starting Wednesday, and Paine said he expected India to come out firing: "I think day one in particular is going to be really intense, "hard" cricket".

He was declared fit by the BCCI and selected for the Test series against Australia.

"When you look at Perth, we felt (Jadeja) was about 70-80 per cent fit and we didn't want to risk that in Perth".

On coach Ravi Shastri calling him an "absolute gentleman" despite certain sections of the Australian media tagging him as the "villain", Kohli said, "He has spent enough time with me to know the kind of person I am".

Meanwhile, Australian coach Justin Langer said allrounder Mitch Marsh is "an attractive commodity" and remains in contention for a return to the Boxing Day Test because of the MCG pitch.

BCCI also said he was not included in the playing XI for the second Test because he lacked "required intensity" while bowling during the net sessions.

"We did it past year during the Ashes as well and majority of this decision is based on the fact that it will be hot and the bowlers have had a big role play".

But most teams are loath to go in with an all-out pace attack at the venue.

Shastri defends Jadeja decision
No question of Jadeja being unfit at the time of selection: MSK Prasad

"You feel exhausted after playing intense cricket (and) for the Indian team, this break was really good and we are starting afresh". Mayank Agarwal is being seen a a possible replacement opener, along with keeper Parthiv Patel and even middle order batsman Hanuma Vihari.

"It s obvious and that responsibility and accountability has to be taken by the top order".

Rahul managed only 48 runs from four innings while Vijay has not fared any better with a total of 49 from as many innings.

Kohli, closing in on the outright record for most test centuries in Australia by an Indian, finished 47 not out and Pujara on 68 will be looking for his second ton of the series when play resumes on day two, Thursday.

India may also be keen to welcome back seam-bowling all-rounder Hardik Pandya who has joined the squad after recovering from a back injury suffered during the Asia Cup in the UAE.

"It s a big concern", he said when asked about the failure of the openers to get a big score. "What is wrong with his (Kohli's) behaviour?" Their comments are too far away and we are in the Southern hemisphere.

Virat Kohli-led India had won the opening test in Adelaide by 31 runs. So we picked him. Very rarely have we been in a position where we are 1-1 in an overseas series with two matches to play. "The boys know what they can do, what they are capable of and what potential lies again", he concluded.

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