The New Zealand ODI series is over with a disappointing performance from Team India, losing the series 3-0 to the hosts. Alongside Mayank Agarwal, the young Prithvi Shaw was chosen as the opening batsman for Kohli’s squad. Failing to fulfil his expectations after a mediocre performance in the ODIs, there are questions regarding as to include Shaw for the upcoming Test series. Amongst several opinions, Indian cricketing icon Harbhajan Singh comes up with his choice, which is the starlet batsman Shubman Gill.
Shubman Gill has not made any red ball cricket appearances for Team India yet, but his stellar performance for the India A team is grabbing everyone’s attention. The youngster from Punjab has scored a marvellous 204-not-out as a middle order batsman in the first unofficial Test versus New Zealand, followed by a stunning century in the second Test.
In a recent interview with PTI, Harbhajan Singh put his positives forward for Gill. “Shubman should get his chance since he has been part of the team (as reserve opener) for quite a while without playing any Test match,” he told reporters.
Talking about GIll’s opening partner, two options come forward- Prithvi Shaw and Mayan Agarwal. The duo have been Team India’s openers in the recent ODIs against Kiwis.
Returning from a dope ban, Shaw proved his worth in the unofficial ODIs last month, but unfortunately, failed to reflect his performances against the New Zealand XI in the ODI series, scoring 84 runs with a series average of 28.
However, Agarwal’s numbers are worse. The 28 year old from Bengaluru was massively out of form in the ODI series, scoring only 36 runs across the three matches.
However, amongst Shaw or Agarwal as Gill’s Test partner, Bhajji prefers the latter, because of a better experience in the format.
Harbhajan continued: “Mayank is a proven player in Test cricket and a top batsman. He understands his game very well. Just because of three ODI innings and a practice game, you don’t drop him. It doesn’t work like that.”
In his 9 Test appearances for India, Agarwal has scored 872 runs, substantially more than Shaw’s two international appearances in the 2018 West Indies series.
“He has been scoring lots of runs wherever he is playing, so I feel Mayank and Shubman should start in first Test,” Harbhajan concluded.