After winning the T20 series 0-5, all the eyes will be on the ODI series which starts from Wednesday in Hamilton. India was brilliant in the T20I series as they didn’t allow the Kiwis to win a single game and completed the whitewash over them. They showed the same intensity in the dead rubbers and continued their winning momentum.
India would like to continue the same momentum in the ODI series whereas the Black Caps will be looking for a change in fortunes with the return of their captain – Kane Williamson. India had announced the squad for the ODI series but the big news coming in is that Rohit Sharma isn’t fit for the ODI series.
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The Indian vice-captain got injured in the fifth T20I while taking a single off Ish Sodhi’s bowling. He left the field when he was batting on 60 and didn’t come back as the injury was serious. This is a big blow for India because two of India’s top three won’t be part of the XI with Dhawan already ruled out.
Now it will be interesting to see who replaces him in the squad and the XI. So, let’s have a look at three replacement options for the No.2 ranked ODI batsman in the world.
#3. Sanju Samson
Sanju Samson was named as Shikar Dhawan’s replacement for the T20I series. In the ODI format, Prithvi Shaw was preferred over Samson but now with Sharma ruled out, the Kerala wicket-keeper batsman might get a look in.
It seems as if the team management is backing the young wicket-keeper because he got to open the batting in the last T20Is and especially in the last game where Sharma played. Even though he didn’t score many runs, his talent is something that people constantly talk about.
Samson hasn’t converted his talent into the performances but still, he might get a chance in place on the injured Rohit Sharma.
#2. Shubman Gill
Shubman Gill was part of the Indian squad when India last time toured New Zealand for a five-match ODI series. He was picked in place of KL Rahul and this time he might be picked in place of the other opener – Rohit Sharma.
Gill is currently in the same country playing for India A against New Zealand A and he recently scored a double hundred in a 4-day game. He is in good form and till now he might have got used to the New Zealand conditions.
In 2019, the Indian coach Ravi Shastri spoke highly of this young man when he played the last two ODIs against New Zealand. Gill loves to open the innings and so it wouldn’t be a surprise if he is picked in the squad as the replacement.
#1. Mayank Agarwal
Out of nowhere, Mayank Agarwal was named as the replacement for Vijay Shankar in the World Cup. The right-handed opener from Karnataka hasn’t played a single ODI for India but he is definitely at the top of the list when it comes to replacing Rohit Sharma.
His numbers in the longest format give a clear indication that he is capable of playing at this level. Agarwal is also part of the India A set up and currently in the same country. He might have bagged a pair in the recently concluded four-day game but he won’t take time to turn things around.
Mayank Agarwal has come close to making his ODI debut on previous occasions but this time he might make his debut if he gets picked as the replacement for Rohit Sharma.