IND vs AUS: Gautam Gambhir suggests several changes in India’s XI for MCG Test
As for the middle order, Gambhir feels in the absence of Virat Kohli, he would prefer seeing stand-in captain Ajinkya Rahane at 4.
Following India’s abysmal show with the bat, numerous former cricketers have listed the changes they would want to see in the team’s Playing XI for the second Test against Australia in Melbourne starting December 26. The latest to recommend a shuffle is former India batsman Gautam Gambhir, who has suggested plenty of changes in the Indian team.
To start off, Gambhir feels Shubman Gill should replace Prithvi Shaw to open with Mayank Agarwal. Gambhir admitted that although he wanted Shaw to begin the series given the spark he had shown earlier this year in New Zealand, but seeing the current confidence level of the 20-year-old – who scored 0 and 4 in Adelaide and had his technique scrutinised. Gambhir reckons Gill appears to be a better option at the moment as he’s coming off a string of impressive scores in the two practice games.
“I wanted Prithvi Shaw to start the series because if a player has scored a hundred and two fifties in four Test matches and hit a fifty in the last tough tour to New Zealand, then you start with him, no doubt the form was not good,” Gambhir said on the Cricket Connected Show on Star Sports. “But now in the type of form he is in, more than the form his confidence is very low, so I will want to see Shubman Gill at the top along with Mayank Agarwal and Pujara at No.3.”
He should play at No. 4 in place of Kohli
As for the middle order, Gambhir feels in the absence of Virat Kohli, he would prefer seeing stand-in captain Ajinkya Rahane at 4. Gambhir also vouched for the inclusion of Rishabh Pant over Wriddhiman Saha, and KL Rahul over Hanuma Vihari at No. 5. Gambhir went ahead with a five-bowler strategy, saying India would be better off playing two spinners in Ravindra Jadeja and R Ashwin, along with the three fast bowlers.
“I will want to see Rahane at No.4. I will not want to see Rahane stay at No.5 because if he is the captain now, he has to lead from the front. So, Rahane should play at No.4 in the place of Virat Kohli,” Gambhir added. “KL Rahul should play at No.5 and Rishabh Pant should play at No.6. Jadeja and Ashwin should play at No.7 and No.8 and then three seamers. I will want to go in with five bowlers.”