Former India cricketer, Aakash Chopra feels that Prithvi Shaw will be picked over KL Rahul and Shubman Gill to partner Mayank Agarwal at the top in the Test matches against Australia.
Prithvi Shaw and Shubman Gill opened in the warm-up game for India A against Australia A. Both the openers bagged a duck in the first innings. Shaw scored 19 and Gill scored 29 in the second innings- still not giving any assurance to the management about their position in the eleven.
In the absence of the first-choice opener, Rohit Sharma, Prithvi Shaw opened in the two-match series in New Zealand earlier in the year. The right-hander scored 98 runs in 4 innings; which was still better than how other batters fared against the Kiwi pacers.
As Rohit Sharma is injured and not available for the first Test, once again Prithvi Shaw would have been expected to open, however, his awful form in the IPL has surely raised questions on his mental and technical abilities- the Delhi Capitals opener bagged 8 single-digit scores in the IPL and was eventually dropped before the final.
On the other hand, KL Rahul has been in incredible form in white-ball cricket. Even after being dropped from the Test team last year in West Indies, he continued to pile runs in limited-overs matches.
Also, Shubman Gill is in contention for a spot in the Test team – as an opener or in the middle-order once Kohli leaves after the first Test – having an average of 59 in first-class cricket, and being the leading run-scorer for Kolkata Knight Riders.
Neither Shubman made runs nor Prithvi: Aakash Chopra
Aakash Chopra believes that deciding the opening partner for Mayank Agarwal is going to be a major concern for Virat Kohli and management as neither Gill nor Shaw scored runs in the warm-up game.
In his YouTube video, Aakash Chopra said, “The opening is going to be a concern. Because there is still a question mark on who will open with Mayank Agarwal. Neither Shubman made runs nor Prithvi.”
The former opener had opined that Rahul wouldn’t be picked over Shaw as the opener as Shaw scored a half-century in New Zealand when the rest of the batting collapsed in front of the Balck Caps seamers.
The first Test is scheduled for 17th December in Adelaide. It would be a day-night affair to be played with the pink ball. The 43-year-old Aakash Chopra also reckons opening against the Aussie pacers bowling with the new ball under lights would be a highly challenging task for the Indians.
“I don’t think India is going to pick KL Rahul as an opener ahead of Prithvi Shaw because the latter had scored runs as well in the last Test match he played in New Zealand. So, opening the innings and the twilight period will be the biggest challenges for Team India in the first Test match,” Aakash Chopra added.