Former spinner Pragyan Ojha wants Mayank Agarwal to hold on to his spot and Shubman Gill to make way for Rohit Sharma as India‘s opener for the third Test against Australia in Sydney, starting January 7.
Rohit’s comeback to the squad after missing the first two Tests has meant a major selection headache for the Indian team management. If Rohit plays at the SCG, one of Agarwal and Gill will have to be left out.
While Agarwal has been struggling for form and rhythm in the Test series so far, Gill made an impressive debut at the MCG and played two crucial knocks in India’s series-levelling win.
Shubman Gill Will Have To Make Way For Rohit: Pragyan Ojha
Ojha believes it is important that the right processes are followed in selection matters as he batted for Agarwal to be persisted with and opined that Gill will have to make way for Rohit.
“For me, it is more about the process that the team follows. If a team has to succeed and achieve their goals in the long run, they have to follow a process. Today, Mohammed Siraj has done really well. When Ishant Sharma and Mohammed Shami come in, neither of them will be rested because that is the process,” Ojha told Sports Today.
“I know Shubman Gill has done a brilliant job, he showcased his talent the way he batted. He is a future prospect for us, no doubt about it. But I believe in the process. Mayank Agarwal has been doing well for you. He is your regular opener. So, Rohit should open with Mayank,” he added.
Hanuma Vihari Should Bat In The Middle Order: Ojha
Ojha doesn’t think Hanuma Vihari should be dropped or made to open the innings again as a further change in his batting number could unsettle the right-hand batsman. Ojha stressed, it is Gill who should be rested to accommodate Rohit at the top.
“Vihari should bat where he bats. It is very difficult for a player to consistently move in the batting positions. So you have to give him a position. If you ask him to bat up the order, he will not be comfortable. You should give someone space. So for Vihari, he should bat in the middle order,” Ojha said.
“Rohit should come in place of Shubman Gill, and it is not being dropped, it is rested. Because if you look at the process, Mayank Agarwal has been there and doing that. In this way, you are giving confidence to your players, and at the same time everybody understands that even if you have a bad patch, the team is backing you,” he added.
While Ojha favours Agarwal, the Indian think-tank is likely to leave out the 29-year-old who has looked woefully out of form in the first two Tests. The team management would want to give Agarwal some time off and allow him to resurrect the technical deficiencies which have plagued his game.