PERTH: Australia captain Tim Paine won the toss and elected to bat in scorching hot conditions in the second Test against India at Perth Stadium on Friday.
India lead the series 1-0 after a 31-run win in Adelaide and have made two changes with key spinner Ravichandran Ashwin and experienced batsman Rohit Sharma ruled out injured.
All-rounder Hanuma Vihari, who can bowl off-spin, is in for Sharma with India opting for Umesh Yadav as Ashwin’s replacement, meaning they go into the Test with an all-pace attack.
Australia are unchanged with Aaron Finch to open the batting with rookie Marcus Harris.
“Obviously it is very warm today and I said this wicket will crack up under the hot weather,” Paine said. “Everyone has recovered really well and we’re raring to go.”
India captain Virat Kohli said he would have batted as well, with temperatures due to nudge 38 Celsius (100 Fahrenheit).
“But it’s not a bad thing to bowl on day one on a wicket which has a lot of grass. We are happy with whatever we are going to do,” he said.
Australia – Marcus Harris, Aaron Finch, Usman Khawaja, Shaun Marsh, Travis Head, Peter Handscomb, Tim Paine (capt), Josh Hazlewood, Pat Cummins, Nathan Lyon, Mitchell Starc
India – Murali Vijay, KL Rahul, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli (capt), Hanuma Vihari, Ajinkya Rahane, Rishabh Pant, Umesh Yadav, Mohammed Shami, Ishant Sharma, Jasprit Bumrah
Umpires: Kumar Dharmasena (SRI), Chris Gaffaney (NZL)
TV umpire: Nigel Llong (ENG)
Match referee: Ranjan Madugalle (SRI)