Aakash Chopra, former opener turned commentator was of the opinion that batsman Shubman Gill should be preferred ahead of opener KL Rahul as Virat Kohli’s replacement in Test XI once the Indian captain is homebound after the conclusion of the first Test against Australia.
He made this observation while responding to questions raised by viewers in a video shared on his Facebook page.
Aakash Chopra: Shubman Gill Should Get Preference Over KL Rahul For Middle Order Spot
Aakash Chopra was asked to give his opinion whether Shubman Gill or KL Rahul should replace Virat Kohli in the second Test match. He responded by saying that the Karnataka batsman KL Rahul could even go on to play the first Test as an opener instead of Prithvi Shaw who failed to shine in IPL. Prithvi Shaw has played only 3 tests accumulating 346 runs averaging 55.
“It is a good question as Kohli will leave after the first Test and who will replace him. But there is a slight catch there about who will be opening in the first Test match, whether it will be Prithvi Shaw or KL Rahul will get his chance there itself.”
The 43-year-old reputed commentator added that Shubman Gill who top-scored for KKR in recently concluded IPL 2020 should be preferred over Orange Cap winner and leading run-scorer in IPL 2020, KL Rahul when it comes to cement a middle-order spot.
“If you are looking to bat someone in the middle order, I feel Shubman Gill should get the no ahead of KL Rahul.”
Aakash Chopra believes KL Rahul has a better chance of playing as an opener as KL Rahul has played most of his Test matches as an opener for the Indian team. KL Rahul has opened in 54 innings scoring 1915 runs averaging 36.83 while he has also batted at No. 3 in 5 innings and No. 6 in 1 innings.
Aakash Chopra: KL Rahul Should Open If Prithvi Shaw Fails
Aakash Chopra observed that KL Rahul should be opening instead of another opener Prithvi Shaw if the Mumbaikar fails to deliver the goods batting at the top of the order in the first few tests or practice matches.
“If Prithvi Shaw fails or you want someone to open instead of Prithvi Shaw, if there is a spot as an opener, then KL Rahul.”
Aakash Chopra concluded that when it comes to bagging a spot in the middle order, Shubman Gill will pip KL Rahul to the position as the former is rated highly.
“But in the middle order batting, as they say to go by the rules, in terms of the pecking order Shubman Gill’s name after Virat Kohli is ahead of KL Rahul. So, in my opinion Shubman Gill will be my choice,” Aakash Chopra added.
Although Shubman Gill is yet to make his Test debut, he has an outstanding record in first-class cricket. The batsman from Punjab has amassed 2133 runs in the 21 matches he has played at an extraordinary average of 73.55. He has scored 7 first-class centuries and 6 List A tons, highest in first-class being 268.