Former India selector Saba Karim wants the in-form Shubman Gill to open with Rohit Sharma in the first Test against Australia in Nagpur, which starts on Thursday (February 9).
He pointed out that Gill scored a Test century against Bangladesh in December. The cricketer-turned-commentator wants vice-captain KL Rahul to play in the middle order. Speaking to India News, Karim said:
“On current form, you have to play Shubman Gill ahead of Suryakumar Yadav in Shreyas Iyer’s absence. He scored a century in the first Test against Bangladesh. How can you drop Shubman Gill? He must find a place in the playing XI.”
“Gill will have a pivotal role if he gets a chance. It’s time to play him; let Gill open with Rohit Sharma, and you can push KL Rahul to the middle order because Shreyas Iyer isn’t available.”
Since his Test century in Bangladesh, Gill has scored a double century and two tons in ODIs. The 23-year-old also recently brought up his maiden T20I century in the third T20I against New Zealand.
Meanwhile, Rahul scored only 57 runs in the two-Test series in Bangladesh but guided Team India to a 2-0 victory.
“There is a lot to prove in Test matches” – Saba Karim on Shubman Gill
Karim wants Gill to continue his sublime form in the upcoming Border Gavaskar series. The former India player reckons the right-hander could face a stern test against Australia:
“There is a lot to prove in Test matches. He scored a century against Bangladesh. Australia will be a big Test. Young batters should be tested in Test matches. If you are doing well in Tests, your basics are correct. You can develop your game.”
Gill has 259 runs in three Tests against Australia, including a couple of half-centuries.
India’s squad for the first two Tests against Australia: Rohit Sharma (Captain), KL Rahul (vice-captain), Shubman Gill, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli, Shreyas Iyer, KS Bharat (wk), Ishan Kishan (wk), R. Ashwin, Axar Patel, Kuldeep Yadav, Ravindra Jadeja, Mohammed Shami, Mohammed Siraj, Umesh Yadav, Jaydev Unadkat, Suryakumar Yadav.
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