As India prepares themselves to battle a formidable England in their turf, new doldrums about Indian opening has come to light. With Shubman Gill sidelined for a while with a leg injury, India resorted to an off-colour Mayank Agarwal whose last venture came against Australia, and it was nothing short of a fiasco.
The onus will dangle between Rahul or Agarwal to open the innings alongside Sharma. Haplessly, Sharma hasn’t been prolific outside India in recent times.
The questions were rolling roughshod over when the team for England was declared and with Gill’s injury, things have taken a worse turn.
The opening batsman on standby, Abhimanyu Easwaran wasn’t in the top-five list for Bengal in the last Ranji Trophy. The solitary knock of brilliance from him arrived in Duleep Trophy with the right-hander hammering 153.
KL Rahul will be coming back to the team after an appendicitis operation and this will be his first Test match ever since 2019.
However, if there is one thing that will stoke Rahul’s hopes, that is his last Test match came on India’s tour of England and he found himself amongst runs with a scintillating ton.
Agarwal’s exploits against Australia were abysmal than a bowler as he could only register scores of 17, 9, 0 and 5 which didn’t encourage the Indian selectors to choose him again.
India’s opening dilemma
This highlights the decision of the board to omit Dhawan and Shaw, both of whom has had experienced Test cricket before. Shaw was obnoxious against Australia but Dhawan has shown significant resistance in Red-ball cricket.
Another striking matter that would bring in a lot of concern is the fact that Shaw failed with every other batsman in the first Test. India had a batting collapse and was bundled out for 36.
Former national selector, Sarandeep Singh has expressed his doubts over the selection of Easwaran.
He was heard quoting to IANS, “I am surprised with Easwaran’s selection. I thought Prithvi Shaw is an experienced player at the international level and has played Tests. He is currently in form also. He should have been included. I would have even thought of Devdutt Padikkal because you need to reward domestic performances too.”
As per reports, if Gill fails to recover by the start of the second Test, Easwaran will be called up for the main squad. There may be a probability that even Shaw can be asked to report to England after his Sri Lanka duties but given the time-consuming procedure, he will not be available before the third Test.