Team India is up for their next task to face England in the upcoming five-match Test series. This red-ball battle is also the first series of the second cycle of World Test Championship (WTC) 2021-23.
The fixtures against England starts from the first week in August, and ahead of the much-awaited contest, India suffered an early setback as opener Shubman Gill has been ruled out from the English tour due to an injury.
Now the question arises whether other openers like Prithvi Shaw and Devdutt Padikkal, who are currently in Sri Lanka for the white-ball series, will fly to the United Kingdom (UK) as a replacement for Gill. However, as per a report in India Today, the Chetan Sharma-headed selection committee has denied drafting Shaw and Padikkal in the Test squad for the England series.
The selectors have asked the Indian team management to add Abhimanyu Easwaran to the squad. Abhimanyu is part of the reserves and is uncapped at the highest level.
Few other options for India are Mayank Agarwal and KL Rahul, who have opened the innings in Test cricket. But Mayank hasn’t played international cricket since the final Test of Border-Gavaskar Trophy, whereas Rahul’s last Test appearance came back in 2019.
“Shubman Gill has been ruled out of the entire Test series in the UK with shin splints that will take a minimum of three months to heal. The team’s administrative manager, at the end of last month, had sent an emailed requisition to former pacer Sharma asking for two more openers to be sent to the UK,” a senior BCCI source privy to developments said as quoted by PTI.
Recently, Shaw and Padikkal showed bright signs with the bat in the intra-squad match between Dhawan XI and Bhuvi XI. The duo added 60-runs for the opening partnership and laid the foundation for Bhuvi XI to chase down the target of 150 runs in 17 overs.