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"Rohit Sharma should come in place of Shubman Gill" - Pragyan Ojha

Pragyan Ojha believes Shubman Gill should make way for Rohit Sharma at the top of the order.
Pragyan Ojha believes Shubman Gill should make way for Rohit Sharma at the top of the order.
Kartik Iyer
ANALYST
Modified 05 Jan 2021, 13:38 IST
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Former spinner Pragyan Ojha has opined that Rohit Sharma should replace Shubman Gill as India's opener for the Sydney Test, with Mayank Agarwal holding on to his spot.

With Rohit Sharma available for the third Test of the Border-Gavaskar Trophy, the Indian team might be in a conundrum on whom the player should replace in the playing XI.

While Mayank Agarwal has not been amongst the runs in the first two Tests and the New Zealand series earlier in the year after a great start to his Test career, Shubman Gill has showcased his abilities with a couple of attractive knocks in the Boxing Day Test.

During a discussion on Sports Today, Pragyan Ojha was asked if the Indian team could even consider moving Hanuma Vihari up the order as an opener for the Sydney Test.

Ojha responded that the Indian team needs to go by the defined processes and observed that Ishant Sharma and Mohammed Shami are likely to come straight back into the XI after recovering from their injuries even though Mohammed Siraj has done well.

"For me, it is more about the process that the team follows. If a team has to succeed and achieve their goals in the long run, they have to follow a process. Today, Mohammed Siraj has done really well. When Ishant Sharma and Mohammed Shami come in, neither of them will be rested because that is the process," said Pragyan Ojha.

Pragyan Ojha pointed out that on similar lines, Shubman Gill, despite the impressive knocks he played in the Melbourne Test, should make way for Rohit Sharma at the top of the order. He added that the incumbent opener Mayank Agarwal should partner Rohit Sharma at the other end.

"I know Shubman Gill has done a brilliant job, he showcased his talent the way he batted. He is a future prospect for us, no doubt about it. But I believe in the process. Mayank Agarwal has been doing well for you. He is your regular opener. So, Rohit should open with Mayank," stated Pragyan Ojha.
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"Hanuma Vihari should bat in the middle order" - Pragyan Ojha

Pragyan Ojha wants Hanuma Vihari to continue to bat at the No. 5 position.
Pragyan Ojha wants Hanuma Vihari to continue to bat at the No. 5 position.

Pragyan Ojha has said that Hanuma Vihari should not be made to bat at the top of the order, as frequent changes in batting position unsettle a batsman. In this regard, Ojha observed:

"Vihari should bat where he bats. It is very difficult for a player to consistently move in the batting positions. So you have to give him a position. If you ask him to bat up the order, he will not be comfortable. You should give someone space. So for Vihari, he should bat in the middle order."
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Pragyan Ojha signed off by reiterating that Shubman Gill should be rested to accommodate Rohit Sharma. He reckoned that such a decision would be a morale-booster for Mayank Agarwal.

"Rohit should come in place of Shubman Gill, and it is not being dropped, it is rested. Because if you look at the process, Mayank Agarwal has been there and doing that. In this way, you are giving confidence to your players, and at the same time everybody understands that even if you have a bad patch, the team is backing you," concluded Pragyan Ojha.

Although Ojha favours Rohit Sharma to replace Shubman Gill, the Indian team is unlikely to go down that route.

Mayank Agarwal is likely to miss out on a spot in the Sydney Test because more than the lack of runs from his willow, some of his technical deficiencies have been exposed by the Australian quicks which he needs to work on.

Published 05 Jan 2021, 13:38 IST
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