Australia vs India: Sunil Gavaskar picks the preferred Indian opening pair for the first Test
The Indian team will play four Tests against the Aussies starting December 6.
Updated - Nov 26, 2018 4:14 pm
After the high voltage T20I series between hosts Australia and India, the stage is now set for the longest format battle between two quality sides in the four-match Test series down under. The first Test match between India and Australia will be starting from December 6 at Adelaide. Former Indian cricketer Sunil Gavaskar recently revealed his opinion on the two openers who should open for the visitors in the first Test match.
In the 18-member squad announced for the Test series, the trio of Murali Vijay, Prithvi Shaw and KL Rahul are the three openers in contention to take up the two opening slots. The young and flamboyant batsman, Shaw is most likely to take up one of the two opening positions due to his couple of staggering performances in the home series against the Windies, while the team management would probably have to take a tough call on choosing one of Rahul or Vijay to partner Shaw.
Rahul has had a lean patch in all forms of cricket after an amazing century inning in the final Test against England, while Vijay who was also dropped after failures in the first two Test matches in England returned to the squad with a strong show in the county circuit.
Gavaskar wants Prithvi and Vijay to open in Adelaide Test
Gavaskar revealed that he would like to see Prithvi and Vijay open the innings in the first Test match against Australia in Adelaide. He mentioned that the form and confidence which the young Mumbai batsman showed in the home series against the Windies and then in practice game against New Zealand A guarantees him an opening slot in the upcoming Test series down under.
The former Indian opener also mentioned that considering Rahul’s consistent failures in the Test series against the Windies and now in the T20Is against Australia, Vijay is the most suited candidate to partner Shaw.
“He (Shaw) is got to play the first Test. He has had his form not just in New Zealand, but also in the two Test matches that he played in home. Rahul’s form has not been well. If Rahul had been scoring runs in Australia, even in the T20s if he would have scored at least 30s or 40s, we could have said yes. But I agree with Robin Uthappa (who was also present on air), I think it got to be Murali Vijay and Prithvi,” said Gavaskar in the post-match show for Sony Pictures Network broadcasting the third T20I between India and Australia.
He also mentioned that Vijay has been an experienced opener for India in the previous overseas tours. Gavaskar reckons that Shaw with his aggressive attitude along with Vijay who can anchor the innings could probably make the right combination to give the team a strong start in the important series.
“Vijay has been doing well overseas for a long time. It had been a pretty ordinary series in England, and that can happen to anybody. But he is a good player and I would like to see him open. He and Shaw will make just the right combination. For Shaw is attacking, like Sehwag, he likes to get to the ball. Murali, on the other hand, will play the role of an anchor,” added the former Indian opener.