The final dilemma that India will be confronted before WTC Final against New Zealand is the ‘openers dilemma’. Though Rohit Sharma is likely to start in the playing XI, India has a number of players at the top of the order who can partner with the ‘Hitman.’
The top contenders for the spot are KL Rahul, Shubman Gill and Mayank Agarwal. Virat Kohli and boys can go with Shubman Gill who impressed in his debut series in Australia and scored 259 runs at an average of 51.80.
However, one can not take Mayank Agarwal on a lighter note. In the 21 innings that Agarwal has opened for India in Tests, he has scored 1005 runs at an average of 47.86. He has also scored 3 hundred and 4 fifties opening the batting for India in the whites. His records prove that how dangerous he can be if given a chance. However, considering the last few innings he played for India, one can question his form.
Coming to KL Rahul, who is the top contender and was first choice to open with Rohit Sharma unless Gill hadn’t made his debut can be a great choice as a second opener. He recently had appendicitis surgery and is currently recovering.
KL Rahul Stats
KL Rahul had some success in India’s last tour of England in 2018 where he scored a century in the final match of the series. He is one of the only three Indian cricketers to score centuries in all formats of the game, after Suresh Raina and Rohit Sharma. In his Test career so far, Rahul has managed to score 2,006 runs in 36 Tests, with an average of 34.58, scoring five centuries and 11 half-centuries.
During India’s 2018 tour of England, the Karnataka star finished as India’s second-highest run-getter with 299 runs in 10 innings, which included a staggering 149 in the last Test.
Shubman Gill Stats
Right-hander Gill was heavily impressive during India’s 2-1 series victory against Australia. In 3 matches, he scored 259 runs at an average of 51.80. He was, however, uninspiring during the England series at home, as he only managed to score a paltry 119 runs in four Tests. Moreover, he looked out form in IPL 2021–before the season was postponed due to the Covid-19 crisis in India. In 7 matches, he only scored 133 runs.
So, will it be Gill, KL Rahul, or Mayank Agarwal? Well, one thing is certain. Kohli will surely have a few sleepless nights in deciding the final playing XI that will take the field against New Zealand in the World Test Championship (WTC) final.