Former India cricketer Ajit Agarkar has admitted that he would be surprised if Ajinkya Rahane doesn’t take Virat Kohli’s No. 4 position in the batsman's absence.
With Virat Kohli unavailable for the upcoming Tests against Australia (paternity leave), who takes the star batsman’s place has been a hot topic of discussion.
Ajit Agarkar has backed Ajinkya Rahane to promote himself from his usual No. 5 position. Speaking to ANI, Agarkar opened up about the batting line-up of the Indian cricket team ahead of the Boxing Day Test in Melbourne.
“I think Rahane should promote himself to number four in Kohli’s absence. He has the experience and he has scored runs away from India. This is a time when the leader needs to stand up, I will be surprised if Rahane does not promote himself to number four,” said Agarkar.
Most of the Indian batsmen did not impress during the pink-ball Test at the Adelaide Oval. While openers Prithvi Shaw and Mayank Agarwal failed to fire in both innings, the ever-reliable Cheteshwar Pujara struggled to perform as well.
The disastrous batting collapse on day three highlighted the deficiencies in India’s batting lineup, with conversation around batting styles and positions stemming up again.
Ajit Agarkar backs Shubman Gill to replace Virat Kohli
Speaking on the topic of Virat Kohli’s replacement for the upcoming Tests in the Border-Gavaskar Trophy, Ajit Agarkar backed youngster Shubman Gill to take his place.
Ajit Agarkar referred to Shubman Gill’s solid record in domestic cricket and claimed that he has always advocated for the 21-year-old.
Notably, Shubman Gill averages 68.78 for Punjab in first-class cricket. Although Ajit Agarkar admitted that Gill plays predominantly as an opener in domestic cricket, he feels that the youngster can hold his own in the middle order too.
“I think Shubman Gill should play, I have been advocating for that for a while, he has the potential. I know he opens for Punjab in domestic cricket, but if someone like him does well, he can serve Indian cricket for a long time,” Agarkar added.
There are many other options to replace Virat Kohli in the middle order as well. From KL Rahul to Rishabh Pant, any of the Indian cricketers could be accommodated by changing the batting positions slightly.
The important thing is to back whoever replaces Kohli in the playing XI and give him time to prove his credentials. However, this has not been the case with the team in recent years.
Ajinkya Rahane could certainly make a statement by promoting himself to the No. 4 slot in the upcoming games.
While replacing Virat Kohli is a big ask, Rahane stepping up and taking charge in the absence of the skipper could bolster the entire squad.Published 24 Dec 2020, 15:33 IST