Kapil Dev Is Against Adding Third Opener For 5-Match England Tests Series

Kapil Dev Is Against Adding Third Opener For 5-Match England Tests Series

Former India skipper Kapil Dev (Photo | PTI)
Former India skipper Kapil Dev (Photo | PTI)

Kapil Dev feels that with openers Mayank Agarwal and KL Rahul already in the 20 member squad in England, picking the third opener and adding him into the squad does not reflect nicely on the team management’s part.

Former all-rounder Kapil Dev is against the addition of any further openers in India’s Test squad for the five-match Test series against England, with the 1983 World Cup-winning captain claiming there is no need to look beyond the pool of 20 players alongside the 5 standbys who are currently in the UK.

Kapil Dev, BCCI
Kapil Dev, BCCI

Kapil Dev Is Against Adding Third Opener Besides Mayank Agarwal, KL Rahul, Abhimanyu Easwaran After Opener Shubman Gill’s Injury

KapilDev’s comments come after reports surfaced that the management is inclined towards calling up Prithvi Shaw from Sri Lanka for the England tour after Shubman Gill picked up an injury and is expected to miss the entire series.

Kapil Dev, however, feels that with the likes of Mayank Agarwal and KL Rahul already in the side, and Abhimanyu Easwaran as a reserve player, picking yet another opening batsman and adding him to the squad will act as an ‘insult’ to the players who are already in the squad.

“I don’t think there is any need for it. There should be some respect for the selectors too. They have picked a team and I’m sure it wouldn’t have happened without their (Shastri and Kohli) consultation. ‘

“I mean, you have two such big opening batsmen in KL Rahul and Mayank Agarwal. Do you really need a third option? I don’t think it’s right,” Kapil said on the ‘Wah Cricket’ show on ABP News.

Mayank Agarwal (L) or KL Rahul (R) will replace Shubman Gill (C) for England Tests (Getty Images)
Mayank Agarwal (L) or KL Rahul (R) will replace Shubman Gill (C) for England Tests (Getty Images)

“I’m not convinced with this theory. The team that they’ve picked already has openers so I think they should be the ones to play. Otherwise, it’s insulting for the players who are already in the team.”

Kapil Dev argued that it’s not possible for the selectors to have picked a team without discussing it with coach Ravi Shastri and captain Virat Kohli in the first place, which is why he feels the management should respect the decision of the selectors and pick replacements from the original pool of players.

Kapil Dev: Picking A Third Opener Outside Squad For England Tests Would Harm The Confidence Of KL Rahul And Mayank Agarwal

Kapil Dev weighed in on the matter, saying that adding another name in the squad present in the UK would not do wonders to the confidence of either KL Rahul or Mayank Agarwal.

“I want that the captain and the management should have a say, but not at the expense of over-ruling the selectors and say that ‘these are the players we need’. In that case, we don’t even need selectors. I am feeling a bit odd knowing that something like this has happened because if it has, it demeans the selectors and their role,” he said.

“Only Virat and Ravi can say that. I feel that this is the wrong set-up to enter. The players you have backed, you cannot demean them. They are big players and I wouldn’t want something like this to happen. No need for any unnecessary controversy.”

Prithvi Shaw
Prithvi Shaw. Photo 

Shubman Gill will be out of action for six to eight weeks. This has also given rise to a debate, as to who should open in England with Rohit Sharma. India has a few options in Mayank Agarwal, Abhimanyu Easwaran and KL Rahul. Abhimanyu Easwaran has been excellent in the domestic circuit in the last couple of years, while Mayank Agarwal and KL Rahul have been out of form in the longest format.

India want in-form opener Prithvi Shaw, who is in Sri Lanka currently for the limited-overs series for the Tests in England, and the team has already submitted a formal request to the BCCI for the same. Prithvi Shaw, after an unsuccessful tour to New Zealand and Australia, was shown the door. But the youngster displayed great form in the domestic circuit and IPL.

The selectors, who are in Mumbai for administrative work, are yet to take a call regarding Prithvi Shaw. Although Abhimanyu Easwaran was named as a standby to the squad, he is yet to earn the team management’s trust due to a lack of matches.

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