Cricket

Will Rahul allow Gill to continue as opener?

India’s K.L. Rahul. File

India’s K.L. Rahul. File | Photo Credit: PTI

The ODI series against Zimbabwe will be K.L. Rahul’s dress rehearsal before the Asia Cup and hence he is all set to replace Shubman Gill at the top-of the order alongside Shikhar Dhawan.

With T20 World Cup being paramount and Gill not exactly in the scheme of things as far as shortest format is concerned, he might be handed a number three slot in order to ensure that his captain gets enough game-time before the continental championship in the UAE, starting on August 27.

This provided all three are fit and available for all the games in the series.

While there will be no Rahul Dravid heading the team of support staff for the short three-match series, starting on August 18 in Harare, NCA head V.V.S. Laxman is almost certain to follow the blue-print set by the head coach.

Rahul’s comeback also creates problems for young Gill, who has had a stellar 50-over series in the West Indies, where he scored 64, 43 and 98 not out in three games to win the Player of the Series award.

So will Rahul allow Gill to continue his good form at the top of the order or perch himself out there at the onset with one eye on the Asia Cup?

“I think Shubman is being groomed in the right way by the Indian team management. While he has done exceedingly well in the Caribbean ODIs, what I can gauge from this team’s philosophy is prepare players for multiple slots. Hence I feel for this particular series, Shubman might have to come in at No. 3,” former national selector and Test opener Devang Gandhi gave his viewpoint.

In the 50-over set-up since the home series against England in 2021, Rahul was being seen as a middle-order anchor rather than an opener but once he was the skipper in the ODI series in South Africa, he had promoted himself as an opener.


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Printable version | Aug 15, 2022 8:00:34 am | https://www.thehindu.com/sport/cricket/will-rahul-allow-gill-to-continue-as-opener/article65769608.ece