England vs India: Gautam Gambhir suggests the best possible openers and No.3 for the Test series
The Test series starts on August 1 at Edgbaston.
Updated - Jul 27, 2018 1:33 pm
Former Indian Test opener Gautam Gambhir like many others has also backed KL Rahul and Murali Vijay as the opening duo ahead of Shikhar Dhawan Team India should opt for in the upcoming five-Test series against England starting at Edgbaston on August 1. Gambhir, who played his last Test against England in 2016, favoured Cheteshwar Pujara to go in at No.3.
He said that although Dhawan hit a century in the team’s last Test against Afghanistan in Bengaluru in June, he still prefers Rahul and Vijay to begin India’s innings. Both Vijay and Rahul hit half-centuries against Essex in the three-day game at Chelmsford ahead of the first Test while Dhawan fell for a golden duck. Rahul hit his fifty at No. 6.
“That’s a tricky question because Shikhar Dhawan got a hundred in the last Test match, but to maintain continuity I would definitely go with KL Rahul and Murali Vijay and play Chesteshwar Pujara at three,” Gambhir, also a left-handed opener, said while talking on Cricbuzz.
Vijay although had a quiet Test series in South Africa earlier this year but his record of scoring 402 runs in five Test matches during India’s tour of England in 2014 at an average of 40.20 spoke in his favour.
Gambhir also banked on Pujara, India’s Test specialist, although he hasn’t been able to produce any extraordinary record during his stint with Yorkshire this summer (172 runs at an average of 14.33) and also fell for just one run in the game against Essex. His run in the Tests in 2018 has been disappointing with just one fifty in seven innings. Yet, according to Gambhir, he will be a “very important member in the batting line-up of the five-Test series” for his ability to cope with the English conditions.
The former Indian ODI skipper said he was particularly having high expectations from Pujara and Vijay to deliver in this series.
India have last won a Test series against England in England in 2007 when Rahul Dravid’s side registered a 1-0 victory. Prior to that Ajit Wadekar’s side had won in 1971 and Kapil Dev’s boys won in 1986.