The Indian team-management won’t find it easy when it sits down to pick the playing eleven for the upcoming first Test against New Zealand, starting from February 21. With Rohit Sharma out of the series due to a calf injury, the world number one Test side will have to find a new opening combination for the two-match series.
While Mayank Agarwal is guaranteed to open the innings, the team-management will have to pick one between Shubman Gill and Prithvi Shaw. It won’t be an easy call since both the players are highly-rated but inexperienced at the highest stage. Prithvi Shaw is just a bit more experienced than Shubman Gill, having already played two Tests and three ODIs compared to his former U19 teammate’s one ODI.
As of now, there is absolutely no clarity over who will open the innings alongside Mayank Agarwal. And India head coach Ravi Shastri recently spoke on it. In a recent interview, Ravi Shastri spoke about both Gill and Shaw although he did not spill the beans on who would open the innings.
“Both are supremely exciting talents. Regardless of who gets into the XI in Wellington, the fact of the matter is they’re here, part of India’s national squad, and from here on they should know that the sky remains the limit,” Ravi Shastri told The Times of India.
He, however, hinted that Shubman Gill might get the nod ahead of Shaw as he lavished praise on the former. Gill has been with India since the last home season. He was the backup opener when India played against South Africa and Bangladesh and recently impressed for India A against New Zealand A.
“He’s phenomenally talented. His approach to batting is very clear and he exhibits a very positive mindset. That’s very exciting for a boy who’s just 20 going on 21,” Shastri said of Shubman Gill.