The speculations around the possible make-up of the Indian batting line-up for the Test series against Australia continue. Fans, as well as pundits, are mulling over different permutations and combinations to zero in on the best possible XI. With Rohit Sharma unavailable for the first two Tests, the big talking point before the two warm-up games was around the opening partner of Mayank Agarwal- Prithvi Shaw or Shubman Gill?
Shubman Gill seems to have sealed that spot following an impressive display in whatever opportunities that he has got on the tour. Gill stroked a classy 33 in the final ODI and have backed it up with scores of 29, 43, and 65. While the scores might not look substantial, the Punjab batsman has looked quite compact and assured of himself during his stay on the crease as opposed to Prithvi Shaw.
However, with Virat Kohli set to leave the team after the first Test, India might still face an issue as to who to slot-in at the No.6 spot as the likes of Ajinkya Rahane and Hanuma Vihari could move one position up. Former Indian seamer Ajit Agarkar feels that Shubman Gill, despite primarily being a top-order batsman, can be ideal foil at the No.6 spot.
“Everyone seems to be an opener at the moment in this squad, isn’t it? Because Vihari and Rahane are obviously going to be playing in the middle order with Pujara. So those are three spots that you would believe are occupied. My pick would be Shubman Gill [at 6]. I think a lot of people have picked him as an opener,” Ajit Agarkar said on the Sony Sports Network.
“Yes, he opened in First-Class cricket for a season or a little bit more, has a good record. But I still feel that his best position might be somewhere in the middle. at least in Test cricket, because I don’t see any better options at this point. People could point put to KL Rahul and his white-ball form but if I had to pick, I’ll go with Shubman Gill,” he added.
The first Test between India and Australia will kickstart at the Adelaide Oval from December 17.