In the absence of the incumbent Rohit Sharma, who is unavailable for the first two Tests, India have picked four openers in the form of Mayank Agarwal, KL Rahul, Prithvi Shaw, and Shubman Gill.
While Mayank is a certain starter, the battle for the second opener has primarily been between Prithvi Shaw and Shubman Gill. Gill seems to have won that battle courtesy of some brilliant batting in the practice matches.
But Nehra feels that India can convert their weakness into their strength if they slot KL Rahul at the top of the order alongside Mayank.
“There is question surrounding India’s opening pair, as to who will open with Mayank Agarwal. I wouldn’t exactly call it a weakness, but it surely is a concern at this point. You can look at Shubman Gill, or even Prithvi Shaw for that matter, but I believe it should be KL Rahul to open the batting for India. If he can score runs given the kind of form he is in, this weakness can transform into a strength for India. I would want him to play,” Ashish Nehra told CricBuzz.
‘It’s an opportunity for KL Rahul’- Ashish Nehra
Mayank Agarwal made his Test debut midway through the last Test series in Australia after both the incumbent openers in KL Rahul and Murali Vijay dropped after the Perth Test.
Agarwal scored back-to-back half-centuries and since then he has gone from strength to strength. KL Rahul, on the other hand, had a horrendous outing in Australia two summers ago and following poor returns in the following series in the West Indies, he was dropped from the Test set-up.
Rahul has made a return to the Test team primarily on his form in white-ball cricket but Ashish Nehra believes that the given the Karanataka cricketer’s rich vein of form, it is a great opportunity for him to regain back his Test spot.
”Mayank Agarwal had played a couple of useful innings for India during the previous tour. With him KL Rahul makes a lot of sense. He hasn’t had the best of runs for India in Tests in the last year and a half. He’s been dropped too, but it’s an opportunity for Rahul,” Nehra added.