Team India registered a clinical victory over hosts Australia in the second T20I at SCG on Sunday and with the win under their belt, they managed to snatch the three-match series by 2-0 and would be eyeing for a white-wash in the third and final feud on Tuesday. Led by Virat Kohli, the Men in Blue have successfully capitalized on the momentum built from the third one-day international and would look to dominate the Border-Gavaskar Test series, as they did on their previous tour.
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However, one of the biggest issues that the tourists could face is the absence of their skipper and one of their core batters in the lineup – Virat Kohli, in the last three Tests as he would be on paternity leave and fly back to India. The Indian cricket team had won the Border-Gavaskar Trophy on the tour of Australia by 2-1, and with that, Kohli became the first Indian skipper to have defeated the Aussies on their own turf in the longest format of the game.
Keeping that in mind, former Indian opener and cricket expert Aakash Chopra reckons that KL Rahul or Shubman Gill could make their mark felt if given a chance to bat at number 4 and fill in the void in Kohli’s absence. He added that there could be slight changes in the opening combination if Prithvi Shaw has a dry run with the willow.
“Kohli will leave after the first Test and who will replace him? But there is a slight catch about who will be opening in the first Test match, whether it will be Prithvi Shaw or KL Rahul will get his chance there itself,” said the former Delhi cricketer on his YouTube channel.
Shubman Gill should get the nod ahead of KL Rahul, says Aakash Chopra
Furthermore, Aakash picked the 21-year-old Shubman Gill ahead of KL Rahul as the ideal fit in the middle-order while the latter could open the innings in case Prithvi Shaw fails to deliver at the top-order.
“If you are looking to bat someone in the middle-order, I feel Shubman Gill should get the nod ahead of KL Rahul,” he added.
Both Shaw and Gill are in the Test squad for the upcoming four-match series that will commence from December 17 with the first match at Adelaide Oval, in Adelaide. The duo is currently a part of India A unit for the practice Test matches against Australia A that’s underway in Drummoyne Oval, in Sydney. Both opened the innings but got dismissed for a duck.