Former Sunil Gavaskar has joined the debate of who will be India’s number four in Tests in Australia when Indian captain Virat Kohli leaves. With India’s batting bedrock Virat Kohli set to return home after the first Test in Adelaide for the impending birth of his first child, the debate around who will take Kohli’s spot in the batting line-up had long begun. But Sunil Gavaskar believes that Ajinkya Rahane should step up and take the position.
It’s safe to say that India has several candidates who could take the spot. The likes of Shubman Gill, KL Rahul, and Hanuma Vihari are no pushovers. However, Kohli’s place is one of the most elite ones and the visitors might have a challenging time filling the same. The 32-year old remains one of the best batsmen in the side and arguably the most experienced player, having played over 80 Tests and managing over 7000 runs.
Ricky Ponting, who was the host of a panel discussion with Sunil Gavaskar, said that the obvious choice for captain once Virat Kohli leaves would be Ajinkya Rahane; however, he also asked who would take the number four spot?
“Virat’s obviously there only for the first Test then you’d expect Rahane to take over (as captain) but they (India) have to find someone to bat at No.4. Who do you expect to take that No.4 spot?,” Ponting asked during a panel discussion that aired on Cricket 7.
Sunil Gavaskar initially picked KL Rahul to bat in his absence and later went ahead with Ajinkya Rahane. The 71-year old opines if Rahane comes at number four, it would be a tussle between KL Rahul and Shubman Gill for the number five spot.
“It looks to me it could be KL Rahul. Or no, actually I think Rahane will go at No.4 once Virat goes away. Then you might have Rahul bat at No.5 or Shubman Gill,” Gavaskar responded.
I would think whoever bats well is going to win the game: Sunil Gavaskar
The former Indian opening batsman backs the best batting side to win the first Test in Adelaide, which would be a day-night Test. Gavaskar feels that with Australia having plenty of experience of playing in pink-ball Tests, they might have the edge over the tourists.
“I would think whoever bats well is going to win the game. Australia has played a lot of (day-night) matches, they have the experience of knowing exactly what happens when the sun’s going down and how to bat and bowl at that particular point of time,” the 71-year old added.