Mayank Agarwal, who was playing as the main opener in the Indian team before the tour of Australia, will now have to wait for his turn as Shubman Gill, along with regular opener Rohit Sharma, did quite well on the tour of Australia and are expected to open the innings against England too.
In-home conditions, Mayank has been one of the consistent run-scorers for India in Test cricket. The opening batsman was the highest run-getter for India in 2019 with 754 runs in 8 Tests.
The Karnataka batsman impressed everyone during the last home season with his two double centuries and a ton in five Tests.
Meanwhile, former Indian cricketer, Gautam Gambhir feels that Mayank’s poor show during the Australia tour is going to cost his place in the England series.
“This is what sport is and this is what life is. If you don’t start well and give an opportunity to someone else and that person performs so well, then you will have to wait for your turn. No doubt, Mayank made tons and tons of runs when he got a chance to play international cricket and did well in India also,’ said Gambhir on Star Sports’ show ‘Game Plan’
“But when he went to Australia, he did not start well. Shubman Gill played with him and he did well. So, now you will have to wait for your turn. And I am sure the team management will not overlook him that quickly. They will keep him with the squad,” he added.
Mayank Agarwal did not do well in the first two Tests against Australia. He played three Tests against Australia in which he managed to score just 78 runs at an average of 13. He struggled miserably against the pacers and his weaknesses were exploited by Pat Cummins.
Gambhir further picked his playing XI of India for the opening Test and chose Axar Patel over Washington Sundar.
“Five bowlers, hundred percent. I have always been a firm believer that India has to go in with five bowlers in any condition. So, probably Axar bats at No.7, it is a direct swap between Jadeja and Axar, Ashwin at No.8. Ashwin will be really confident after what he did at the SCG, Axar can contribute with the bat. So, India needs about 350-odd runs and they have got the bowling attack to get England out,” said Gautam Gambhir.
Here are Gautam Gambhir’s Predicted Playing XI:
Shubman Gill, Rohit Sharma, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli, Ajinkya Rahane, Rishabh Pant, Axar Patel, Ravichandran Ashwin, Kuldeep Yadav, Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammed Siraj.
The first Test match of the four-match series is scheduled to start on February 6 in Chennai.