Former India batsman, Aakash Chopra has named youngster, Shubman Gill to be picked over KL Rahul in the Test team to bat at number four in place of Virat Kohli for the last three matches against Australia.
Indian captain, Virat Kohli will leave for home after the first Test in Adelaide. He will return back to attend the birth of his first child with wife and Bollywood actress, Anushka Sharma. Hence, the skipper will miss out from the next three Test matches in Melbourne, Sydney, and Brisbane.
Rahul was dropped from the Test team following his poor show in the longer format, and Rohit Sharma was given the opening duties. In Rohit’s absence, Shaw opened the batting with Agarwal in New Zealand. It would be interesting to see, who opens in Adelaide, and then if Rohit returns for further matches.
KL Rahul can bat as an opener if Prithvi Shaw fails: Aakash Chopra
During a question and answer session on his Facebook page, Aakash Chopra was asked about his choice of the batsman to play at number 4 in Test matches once Kohli leaves the tour early. Chopra pointed out that apart from the number 4 position, it is not even fixed who will open with Mayank Agarwal.
Since Rohit Sharma has not yet arrived in Australia, he will definitely not be playing in the first Test. This means that Prithvi Shaw is in contention for the opening spot.
However, Chopra feels that KL Rahul, who is making a return to the Test side can also open with his Karnataka teammate instead of Shaw, as the Delhi Capitals opener was lost of touch in the IPL.
The wicket-keeper batsman has been in thunderous form in white-ball cricket, and on the back of that, he has made a return to the Test squad. Not to forget, he made his maiden Test hundred in Australia in 2015.
In his Facebook video, Aakash Chopra said, “It is a good question as Kohli will leave after the first Test and who will replace him? But there is a slight catch there about who will be opening in the first Test match, whether it will be Prithvi Shaw or KL Rahul will get his chance there itself. If Prithvi Shaw fails or you want someone to open instead of Prithvi Shaw, if there is a spot as an opener, then KL Rahul.”
The commentator picks Shubman Gill to play in the middle-order ahead of KL Rahul in place of Kohli. In 21 first-class matches, Gill averages a mammoth 73. He was also the leading run-scorer for Kolkata Knight Riders in the IPL.
“If you are looking to bat someone in the middle order, I feel Shubman Gill should get the no ahead of KL Rahul. Shubman Gill’s name after Virat Kohli is ahead of KL Rahul. So, in my opinion, Shubman Gill will be my choice,” Aakash Chopra added.