Sachin Tendulkar backed Mayank Agarwal to be the first-choice opener for the Tests against Australia and said Rohit Sharma should be picked if he is fit and available for the much-anticipated 4-match Test series.
Sachin Tendulkar said Virat Kohli‘s absence will impact India’s chances in Australia Tests. Concerns over Rohit Sharma and Ishant Sharma’s fitness remain as India are gearing up for limited-overs series consisting of 3 ODIs and as many T20Is.
Sachin Tendulkar: Virat Kohli’s Absence Is Undoubtedly A Big Void
Batting great Sachin Tendulkar said India will definitely feel the absence of captain Virat Kohli in the Test series against Australia but pointed out that it’s an opportunity for somebody else to step up and deliver.
Virat Kohli will be leading India in the opening Test which will be the day-night encounter in Adelaide, starting December 17, but will be heading back to India to be with his wife and Bollywood actor Anushka Sharma for the birth of their first child. His deputy Ajinkya Rahane is all set to lead India in the remaining 3 Tests and the middle-order spot is up for grabs.
India will be facing an uphill battle as Australian side led by Tim Paine will be keen on claiming revenge for the home series defeat in 2018-19. With Steve Smith and David Warner back, Australia are the stronger side than the one India managed to beat 2-1 during their last trip.
“Virat not being there without a doubt is a big void but also on the other hand, the kind of bench strength that we have and the talent that is available, it is a good opportunity for somebody to establish himself,” Tendulkar told the Press Trust of India.
“…I would put Cheteshwar Pujara’s name along with Virat. These two players have played together more than anyone else. There is Ajinkya Rahane as well but he has not played as consistently in the playing XI as Pujara and Virat.”
India have travelled to Australia without their two seasoned match-winners, Rohit Sharma and Ishant Sharma. These two cricketers are currently working on their recovery at the National Cricket Academy in Bengaluru following injuries they picked up during IPL 2020.
It’s not yet certain that Rohit Sharma and Ishant Sharma will be available for the Test series, which will commence after the completion of the ODI and T20I series. However, both will miss the first 2 Tests in all probability.
Sachin Tendulkar: Mayank Agarwal Is A Confirmed Starter But Team Management Will Decide Upon Opening Spot
Sachin Tendulkar believes Mayank Agarwal is certain to start the Test series as opener and that he is not sure who will open with the Karnataka batsman. India have KL Rahul, Prithvi Shaw and Shubman Gill too as reserve openers in the Test squad.
“Mayank, I know, is a confirmed starter because he has scored big runs and if Rohit is fit and available, then he should be there. Between other guys (Prithvi Shaw, KL Rahul), that will be the management’s decision as they would be knowing who’s the form man,” Tendulkar said.
Rohit Sharma was a late entrant to Test squad after playing a few last games for Mumbai Indians including IPL 2020 final. Shubman Gill is yet to play a Test. Mayank Agarwal have scored 974 runs in 11 Tests averaging 57.29 while KL Rahul averages 34.58 in 36 Tests. Prithvi Shaw averages 55 but has featured in only 3 Tests.