Prithvi Shaw and Mayank Agarwal set to open the innings for India in the first ODI against New Zealand

Virat Kohli also confirmed that KL Rahul will continue to bat at five.

Prithvi Shaw
Prithvi Shaw and Mayank Agarwal. (Photo by Ashley Allen/Getty Images)

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India and New Zealand, both the teams, are struggling with injuries to their key players ahead of the ODI series. For the visitors, Rohit Sharma was ruled out while the Kiwi skipper Kane Williamson is not available for the first two games due to shoulder injury. With Shikhar Dhawan not the part of the side and KL Rahul set to bat five, the Indian captain Virat Kohli has confirmed that Prithvi Shaw will definitely be in the starting XI and open the innings.

Rohit’s injury is a set back for the Men in Blue as he was in good form. But he injured his calf while running in the fifth and final T20I and is on the sidelines now for the rest of the tour. This has opened up a door for Mayank Agarwal who has been named Rohit’s replacement in the ODI squad and will also most likely make his debut in the limited-overs format too.

KL Rahul to continue to bat at five

Speaking in the pre-series press conference, Virat Kohli termed Rohit’s injury as unfortunate and also cleared that KL Rahul will continue to bat at five in the ODIs as the management wants to continue donning the gloves behind the stumps. He also confirmed that Prithvi Shaw will make his debut and his replacement who has been announced will open with him.

“It’s an unfortunate situation that Rohit can’t be a part of this series. Prithvi is in the team. He is definitely going to start and whoever the replacement is (Mayank Agarwal) and KL will play in the middle-order because we want to him to really get used to and accustomed to that role at five and keep as well,” Kohli said.

Rishabh Pant will have to continue to wait for his chances it seems as the southpaw is yet to play a single game on the tour. The first ODI will also see two debutants opening the innings for India as Mayank Agarwal is the opener which Kohli talked about in the presser.