After three years, Virat Kohli’s India is back in the United Kingdom (England) to take on England in a five-match Test series. The opening match starts on Wednesday at Trent Bridge in Nottingham, but the visitors are already facing injuries.
After three players, Shubman Gill, Avesh Khan, and Washington Sundar returned home, another player; Mayank Agarwal, was excluded during the opening test. Agarwal was hit on the helmet during a net session in Nottingham on Monday.
The worrying factor for Indian management is to find an opener who can work together Rohit Sharma in the series opener. India has options in the form of KL Rahul and Abhimanyu Easwaran as designated openers. The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) also sent Prithvi Shaw and Suryakumar Yadav to England, but due to the quarantine period, the duo is not available to join the team for the first Test.
As Easwaran is still a newcomer, the chances are high that Rahul will open the innings with Rohit. Before Mayank’s injury, it was expected that if Rahul got a match, he might come batting in the middle order, but now the situation has changed, and fans can see that Rahul is getting a partnership with Rohit at Trent Bridge.
Team India also has an option of Hanuma Vihari to open, but here the career statistics of Rahul are much better. The Karanataka cricketer has played 36 Tests so far and opened in 34 among them. On the other hand, Vihari has only opened once in his career of 12 Tests. On top of that, another factor that can work in Rahul’s favor is that he also has the experience to start in white ball cricket.
India’s team for first Test:
Rohit Sharma, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli (c), Ajinkya Rahane, Hanuma Vihari, Rishabh Pant, Ravichandran Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Axar Patel, Jasprit Bumrah, Ishant Sharma, Mohammed Shami, Mohammed Siraj, Abard Shawan, Shardul Thakan .