Team India is girding up its loins for the second cycle of World Test Championship (WTC) 2021-23, which starts with the five-match Test series against England. In the recently concluded first cycle of WTC, the Virat Kohli-led side reached the final of the event and ended as the runners-up after facing a defeat from New Zealand.
The red-ball battle against England starts from the first week in August, and ahead of the much-awaited series, India suffered an early setback as opener Shubman Gill in doubt for the Test leg due to an unrevealed injury.
However, Gill continues to be in England at present before the Indian team management takes a final call on him. But what if Gill fails to recover? Do India have enough choices to replace the talented batter? Well, apparently, India have few names that can fill the gap. Players like Mayank Agarwal, KL Rahul, Hanuma Vihari and rookie Abhimanyu Easwaran are in the squad.
According to a TOI report, Rahul could be given a chance in the middle-order as he hasn’t yet proved his brilliance against the moving red-ball. However, Vihari has faced the likes of James Anderson and Stuart Broad and could get an opportunity to play.
“Rahul’s game against the new ball has not been up to the mark over the last year. He could be a very good option down the order. Vihari has shown he has the ability to play out the new ball,” said a source close to team India’s management.
Meanwhile, the source also explained that Shubman is utterly disappointed as his injury looks bad at the moment. Team management wishes to see him recover before the series starts but the probability of such looks unrealistic.
“Shubman is very upset right now. The injury looks bad. BCCI is contacting the best professionals to get Shubman treated in England. While the team management wishes that he recovers in time for the series, it looks unrealistic. It needs to be seen if he needs surgery,” the source added.