No replacement for injured Shubman Gill in England: BCCI
The Indian cricket team won't receive a replacement for the injured Shubman Gill in England. As per reports, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) is not keen on sending an additional player. India already have two options for the opening role in the form of Mayank Agarwal and KL Rahul. They have a pool of 23 players for the five-match series.
The BCCI sources confirmed the development regarding Gill's replacement on Thursday. "When Prithvi Shaw was not considered in the pool of 24 players who traveled, why should it be any different now? As for Devdutt Padikkal, well, he's a great talent but doesn't deserve to be pushed to the wall like this. His time will come," said a BCCI official.
Senior batsman Rohit Sharma remains the first-choice opener for the Test series in England. Besides, Team India has to decide between Mayank and Rahul for the role of the second opener. Recent reports suggested that the team management wants Rahul to play as a middle-order batsman. In this case, Mayank is likely to regain his original spot as an opener.
Mayank made his Test debut in the 2018/19 Boxing Day match. Ever since, he has amassed 1,052 runs from 14 Tests at an impressive average of 45.74. The tally includes three centuries and two double-tons. Mayank has played most of his Tests away from home.
After the news of Shubman Gill's injury, Prithvi Shaw was deemed as his possible replacement. However, as per the BCCI officials, Shaw is inclined toward the SL white-ball series. Gill had replaced Shaw midway through the Australian Test series after the latter underwent a lean patch. "Shaw wants to focus on the white-ball matches between now and the T20 World Cup," an official added.
Bengal batsman Abhimanyu Easwaran is one of the stand-by Indian players in England. The 25-year-old made the cut after fairing well in the domestic circuit. Notably, the BCCI wants the management to give him an opportunity if the need arises.
Indian spinner Ravichandran Ashwin is set to play a four-day game for Surrey against Somerset, starting July 11. The BCCI is also finalizing a similar opportunity for all-rounder Washington Sundar at Lancashire. Meanwhile, India's three-day warm-up game against a combined County XI will begin on July 20. Team India will also play intra-squad matches to prepare for the first Test, starting August 4.