Sunil Gavaskar, former legendary opener and skipper is impressed with Rohit Sharma and Shubman Gill and has backed the pair to be India’s long-term option at the top of the order in Test cricket.
Sunil Gavaskar said it’s important that the two openers complement each other and he is exactly seeing that trait in Rohit Sharma and Shubman Gill who playing their first Test match as an opening pair together managed 70 odd runs stand in both innings.
Sunil Gavaskar: Shubman Gill And Rohit Sharma Have Been Impressive
India have not been to settle into an opening pair for quite some time in Tests. As many as 3 different pairs were used during India’s previous trip to Australia and the visitors have used 3 different combinations in as many Tests in the ongoing tour.
However, Shubman Gill and Rohit Sharma were impressive in the Sydney Test, stitching two back-to-back fifty-plus stands against a top-quality Australian attack. They forged together 70 run partnership in 1st and 71 run partnership in second innings. Shubman Gill and Rohit Sharma also became only the 2nd Indian opening pair since Abil Ali and Farokh Engineer in 1968 to have two fifty-plus stands in a single Test in Australia.
“What is important in an opening partnership is the partners should be made for each other. Sometimes you have one who is a very attacking player and one is solid. But here both have a very good defense, they both have fabulous shots. Shubman Gill has been impressive,” Gavaskar told Sony Six on Sunday.
“We all know how good a player Rohit Sharma is. He was also getting behind the line and played the ball very late, that was very, very impressive. On a fourth day pitch when the ball was turning just that little bit, the way they negotiated Nathan Lyon was also impressive. Yes, on the back of what we have seen, these two could be the opener pair to stick with.”
Shubman Gill and Rohit Sharma looked comfortable during their 71-run stand on Day 4 of the Sydney Test. While being solid in defence, both batsmen did not miss out on opportunities to keep the scoreboard moving.
In 2nd innings, Shubman Gill made 31 and Rohit hit his first fifty as a Test opener overseas before he threw his wicket away towards the close of play after scoring 52. In the first innings, Rohit Sharma scored 26 and Shubman Gill scored his debut 50 playing only his 2nd Test.
Sunil Gavaskar: Prithvi Shaw Can Still Be A Big Asset After Working On His Technique
Meanwhile, Sunil Gavaskar also pointed out that it will be unfair to Mayank Agarwal, who was dropped for the 3rd Test following a series of poor scores in the ongoing series. Mayank Agarwal began his Test career at the MCG in 2018-19 and had been extremely impressive with an average of over 47 and 3 hundreds to his name.
Sunil Gavaskar also said Prithvi Shaw can still be an asset if the young opener manages to work on his shortcomings. Prithvi Shaw was exposed in both the innings of the Adelaide Test and was dropped for the 2nd Test after the batting debacle in Adelaide where India registered lowest ever Test score of 36.
“But that will be a little bit hard on Mayank Agarwal, who has had an outstanding career. As well as young Prithvi Shaw, once he returns to Mumbai and works on his bat lift and technique, can still be a big asset for the Indian team,” Gavaskar said.
Shikhar Dhawan, Murali Vijay, KL Rahul and Hanuma Vihari have been used recently as openers in Tests besides Mayank Agarwal, Prithvi Shaw, Shubman Gill and Rohit Sharma.