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Aakash Chopra backs Rohit Sharma-Mayank Agarwal duo to open the innings in New Zealand Tests

The Rohit-Mayank duo had a terrific outing together against the Proteas in the home series last year, putting up even a 300-plus partnership.

Rohit Sharma and Mayank Agarwal
Rohit Sharma and Mayank Agarwal (Photo Source: Twitter)

India have kicked off their tour of New Zealand in style by winning the first two T20Is in Auckland comprehensively. Virat Kohli’s side now looks firm favourites to clinch the five-match series. India will next play the Kiwis in a three-ODI series beginning February 5.

And going by the Asian powerhouse’s brilliant performance in white-ball cricket, the expectations of them beating New Zealand in the two-match Test series starting February 21 have also gone high. Recently, Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) President Sourav Ganguly expressed wish that Kohli’s men win the red-ball series as well.

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India so far have only picked the T20I and ODI squads for the New Zealand series. It will not be an easy task for the selectors, however, since KL Rahul has returned to his form with a bang. Rohit Sharma has also turned into a Test star in one series (he was the man of the series against South Africa) and will also be at the centre of India’s opening plan.

And then there is Mayank Agarwal, the Karnataka batsman who made an impressive Test debut in Australia in 2018-19 and slammed his first double hundred in the series against the Proteas. Moreover, the young Prithvi Shaw has also been picked in the place of the injured Shikhar Dhawan for the New Zealand ODIs and if he gets to deliver, then there could be yet another claim for the opening slots in Tests since Shaw has made his name in that format.

KL Rahul has also been in sublime form for India lately

While the selection committee has to seek a number of answers, one fan posed a question to former India Test opener Aakash Chopra over his choice for the opening positions given the in-form Rahul has also been picked. To that Chopra, who chips in as a cricket commentator-analyst now, said his preference would be Rohit and Mayank.

The duo had a terrific outing together against the Proteas in the home series last year, putting up even a 300-plus partnership. India have not won a Test series in New Zealand after 2008-09. That year, Mahendra Singh Dhoni-led India to a 1-0 win in a three-game series against the Kiwis.

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