Indian team has suffered a huge blow ahead of the much-anticipated 5 match Test series against England, starting August 4. The young India opener Shubman Gill is likely to be ruled out of the entire series with a leg injury. According to the reports, Gill had been carrying this injury for some time and will need more time for recovery.
Since his debut against Australia at MCG in December, Gill has been in sublime form. He scored 45 and 35* in his debut test, followed by a maiden fifty at Sydney in the first innings of his very next match. And then smashed 91 runs off 146-ball in the 4th innings of the historic Test at Gabba. Shubman Gill also became the youngest Indian opening batsman to score 50-plus runs in the fourth innings of a Test match. It would be interesting to see who replaces Gill in India’s playing XI.
Here’s a look at three players who can replace Shubman Gill in the England series:
1. Mayank Agarwal
Mayank Agarwal was India’s first-choice opener in the home series as well as on the New Zealand and Australia tour last year. He scored tons of runs in the home series vs South Africa and Bangladesh including two double centuries.
Mayank was dropped from the side after he failed to deliver in the first two tests against Australia in the Border Gavaskar Trophy last year. However, he has a great chance of making a comeback on this England tour and shows his worth. Mayank has scored 1052 runs in 14 Tests at an average of 45.74 including two double centuries. He has a strong defence and also plays spin extremely well.
Scoring runs in England is always tough, especially for the openers. With English conditions, pitch, and the Duke’s ball, bowlers have always an edge over batsmen. The 34-year-old hasn’t played a test match In UK yet. So, he has a tough challenge ahead of him against a quality English bowling attack with the likes of James Anderson, Stuart Broad, and Chris Woakes.
2. KL Rahul
PBKS captain and Mayank Agarwal’s Karnataka teammate, KL Rahul is next on the list. Rahul has experienced playing tests in England. He was a part of the Indian squad which toured England in 2018. KL Rahul scored 299 runs in 10 innings at an average of 29.9 including one hundred which came at Oval in the last match of the series.
KL Rahul has a good sound technique and plays well on the front foot. He
has played 36 Test matches and scored 2006 runs at an average of 34.59 including 5 centuries and 11 half-centuries. He has played some excellent knocks in the long format. But has always struggled with the consistency in tests and was also dropped from the side for the same.
However, the 29-year-old has been in great touch in limited-overs cricket, scoring consistently in the last 2 years that earned him a place in the Test team again. Rahul didn’t feature in a test match since August 2019 but he can be a very useful opener for India on this tour. The 29-year-old has experience of playing in English conditions as well as a good technique to counter the swing.
3. Abhimanyu Easwaran
Easwaran has scored tons of runs in the domestic circuit for Bengal. He has a good technique and a solid defence. The 25-year-old has played marathon innings in domestic tournaments. He was the leading run-scorer for Bengal in the 2018–19 Ranji Trophy, with 861 runs in just six matches.
Easwaran has scored 4227 runs in 58 first-class matches at a sublime average of 46.96 including 13 centuries. The youngster has been very consistent in the domestic tournaments which earned him a place in the Test team and got rewarded for his performance. Abhimanyu Easwaran has traveled to England as a reserve player. And with Gill likely to be ruled out due to an injury, Easwaran could make his debut on this tour.