Indian openers failed to make an impact once again as Australia made a comeback in the 4-match Test series with a 146-run win in Perth.
The constant failure of openers is the major reason behind India’s failure to chase down a single target in Test matches this year.
Captain Virat Kohli is expected to make changes in India’s opening combination for the Boxing Day Test in Melbourne and former Indian skipper Anil Kumble feels opener Mayank Agarwal, who has been called up for third and fourth Test as a replacement for injured Prithvi Shaw, should be given his debut cap.
While speaking to CricketNext, Kumble said that KL Rahul should be given a break and be asked to play in domestic cricket to regain form.
“I think it is just not his (Rahul) technique that he is probably doubting at the moment but also his mind. I think will be good to give him a break and perhaps make him play the longer format in domestic cricket and that is a good option for Rahul. I don’t think you would be going with Rahul with this kind of mindset. I believe that Mayank Agarwal has done exceptionally well in domestic cricket, he has flown in, give him an opportunity, straight in,” Kumble said.
Talking about India’s possible playing XI for the third Test, the 48-year-old said Hanuma Vihari should open the innings along with Agarwal, while India should also play two pacers along with two spinners.
“I would certainly have Mayank Agarwal in the eleven, I think it is nice to get a youngster, kind of energy that you need, we have seen Hanuma Vihari perform, we have seen Kuldeep Yadav perform, we have seen Rishabh Pant perform then why not have Mayank Agarwal in the mix, then the challenge, because I need five bowlers, because the fast bowlers are tired you won’t go with any other fast bowlers to be playing so it would be Shami, Bumrah and Ishant these three fast bowlers need backing up, two spinners I would go with experience, Ashwin and Jadeja both can bat as well. So those are you bottom five. So you will go with Hanuma Vihari, try and push him up the order. And then have Pujara, Virat and Ajinkya and Rishabh Pant as your wicket-keeper,” Kumble added.
Anil Kumble’s India playing XI for the third Test:
Mayank Agarwal, Hanuma Vihari, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli (c), Ajinkya Rahane, Rishabh Pant (wk), Ravi Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Mohammed Shami, Ishant Sharma, Jasprit Bumrah.