Virat Kohli says Gautam Gambhir 'like for like' replacement for opener's spot
The skipper was speaking at the pre-match press conference.
Speaking at the pre-match press conference, the 27-year-old right-hander said that the left-hander was a like for like replacement at the top of order.
“Yes, that's the natural change because of Shikhar Dhawan's injury. That is a natural replacement in the team because he is the third opener,” Kohli said at the press meet on Friday.
This now means that after a gap of over two years, the Delhi opener is most likely to represent India at the international level. His last appearance came during the Oval Test of 2014 against England, where he fell for single-digit scores in both innings.
If he does play, Gambhir will come into the game on the back of some excellent showing in the Duleep Trophy, where he made four half-centuries and captained India Red to the title. It was those performances that earned him a comeback to the national setup after KL Rahul was injured in the opening Test of the series in Kanpur.
It was Shikhar Dhawan, however, who played in the Kolkata Test, but following his injury during that game, the route to finding a berth in the playing XI became all but clear for Gambhir, despite the management calling up Karun Nair as a backup.
During the course of his 12-year Test career, the left-hander has played 56 matches, amassing 4,046 runs at an average of 42.58 with a best of 206 that came against Australia in Delhi in 2008.
It will now be interesting to see whether the man from Delhi can turn it on with the bat in what will be his third coming for India.
The skipper further congratulated the Madhya Pradesh Cricket Association (MPCA) and applauded them for keeping the venue in good shape.
”This will be a proud moment for Indore, for the fans, the administrators as its the first Test here. I would like to congratulate them for that. This has always been a good venue for the Indian team.
“It is a pretty good stadium, the pitch has always been pretty good. The one that could be used for this game also seems like a normal Indore deck. We will plan according to the conditions on offer. There is a slight doubt over the weather, but we can’t control that.
”What we have seen so far from this pitch is that it could have something to offer for both the batsmen and the bowlers,” Kohli added.
Also read: 5 best Test knocks by Gautam Gambhir