- Former Indian opener Gautam Gambhir has picked KL Rahul and Murali Vijay as his preferred openers for 1st test match
- Gambhir wants Pujara to come in at number 3 due to his ability to play long innings
- This would mean that Shikhar Dhawan missed out from the Indian playing 11
With just under a week to go for the start of the 5-match test series between India and England, the excitement among the fans of both the countries is inching higher and higher. After winning the T20I series, Virat Kohli would have been disappointed to have lost the ODI series after leading 1-0 but the Indian captain knows the biggest examination of his team India starts from August 1st in Birmingham.
In latest India cricket news, Gautam Gambhir, who has played a number crucial knocks for the country in England is currently serving as a pundit on Cricbuzz and the former opener has had a lot to say regarding the upcoming test series and the methods Indians should use to achieve success over the next month and a half.
KL Rahul to be preferred over Shikhar Dhawan?
Ahead of the first test match, Gautam Gambhir has revealed his picks for players who should open the innings for India. The 36-year-old while speaking in Cricbuzz studios said,”It’s a tricky question because Shikhar Dhawan has got a hundred in the last test match but if you want to keep the continuity, I would definitely go with KL Rahul and Murali Vijay to start with and play Pujara at three.”
Shikhar Dhawan did open the innings for India in the one-off test match against Afghanistan but during the South Africa series, it was Rahul and Vijay who were the designated openers. Dhawan did get a hundred against Afghanistan, which has made things even more tricky for Virat Kohli and the Indian management.
“Pujara is going to be a very important member for this team over the 5 test matches. They might look to put KL at 3 and open with Shikhar Dhawan and Vijay. But two batters who I have a lot of hopes on is Pujara and Murali Vijay. I think Virat is always an important batsman in test matches but it is these two batsmen who have put their hand up and score a lot of runs,” said Gambhir continuing on from his previous comment.
Dhawan’s duck against Essex in the 1st innings of the practice match wouldn’t have helped his cause one bit. Virat Kohli and coach Ravi Shastri have a lot of brainstorming to do before the toss on August 1st, apart from the openers, there is also the question of picking how many spinners and which ones.
Conditions in England will require batsmen to bat for long periods
Speaking about the conditions in England, Gambhir said,” Sometimes playing for time is equally important because everything depends on overcast conditions. There are times when you got to play those gritty and ugly sessions, where you just try and hold on to one hand and look to cash in when the sun is out.
So, who better than Cheteshwar Pujara, he has got the ability to play time and I think a lot of people might debate that he has had a very ordinary county season but I think he still remains an important and integral part of this test batting line up.”
In live cricket news today, team India are currently battling with Essex in a 3-day practice match before they move to Birmingham for the start of the all-important test series.
WATCH: I would open with KL Rahul and Murali Vijay and bat Pujara at No. 3 – Gautam Gambhir