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Gill, Shaw in contention to open with Mayank: Ravi Shastri prior to Wellington Test

Both batters got out for ducks in the tour match against New Zealand XI at the Seddon Park.

Prithvi Shaw and Shubman Gill
Prithvi Shaw and Shubman Gill. (Photo Source: Twitter)

Ravi Shastri, Team India’s head coach, has revealed the names in contention for Mayank Agarwal’s opening partner ahead of the Test series against New Zealand. Going into the opening game, starting February 21 at the Basin Reserve in Wellington, Shastri said that one of Prithvi Shaw and Shubman Gill will get to play. Rohit Sharma’s calf injury has opened the doors on the young duo.

Rohit missed the ODI series and is expected to make a comeback in the IPL 2020 for four-time champions Mumbai Indians. Meanwhile, Shastri is confident of India’s ‘strong and stable’ squad and reckons that competition for spots in the team is healthy for the team.

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Sky remains the limit: Shastri

“They’re all from the same school, you know. They love facing the new ball, enjoy a challenge. Rohit is unfortunately out so that puts Shubman and Prithvi in contention to open with Mayank. That competition is necessary and that’s what makes a bunch of 15 look strong and stable,” Shastri was quoted as saying in The Times of India (TOI).

“Both are supremely exciting talents. Regardless of who gets into the XI in Wellington, the fact of the matter is they’re here, part of India’s national squad, and from here on they should know that the sky remains the limit,” he stated.

Shaw and Gill are currently playing a tour match against New Zealand XI at the Seddon Park in Hamilton. In the first day’s play, both of them were unable to open their account with Gill getting a golden duck after batting at number four. Scott Kuggelejin accounted for their wickets.

Shastri is however concerned about their bowling unit. He rued missing Bhuvneshwar Kumar, who’s recovering from sports hernia. Ishant Sharma is also yet to regain full fitness after twisting his ankle during a Ranji Trophy match in New Delhi.

“Around four to five of our core are missing. Bhuvi could’ve been extremely useful in the conditions here, but never mind. That’s why I said, having options available are always in the best interests of the team,” Shastri stated.

Jasprit Bumrah, who went wicketless in the ODI series, Umesh Yadav and Mohammed Shami are likely to shoulder the pace-bowling department against the Black Caps.

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