In the first Test against New Zealand starting on November 25, there is a lot of possibility that the Indian team management will get the talented Shubman Gill to bat in the middle order.
The team management wants to test Gill’s attacking style in the absence of the big players.
It is learned that Shubman has been told that he will bat in the middle order in the first Test against New Zealand in Kanpur, where Ajinkya Rahane will lead the side in the absence of Virat Kohli.
With Rohit Sharma missing for this two-Test series, it is a great opportunity for the team management to test Gill’s skills as a middle-order batsman. Kohli will return to the team for the Mumbai Test while Rohit will tour South Africa.
Lokesh Rahul, who is running in great rhythm, will open the innings where Mayank Agarwal can play the role of his partner.
It is understood that the new selection committee headed by Chetan Sharma and the current team management feel that they need at least one player in the middle order, apart from Kohli, who can trouble the opposition camp with his attack.
He believes that Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane and Hanuma Vihari have almost the same style of batting.
Former national selector Jatin Paranjpe, who gave Gill the chance to make his Test debut in Australia, also backed it.
Paranjpe told PTI, “I always believe that uniformity does not help in team selection. I really feel that playing Shubman as a middle-order batsman will help the team. It will always help to give additional options.
Against New Zealand, Wriddhiman Saha is the main wicketkeeper of the team, who is known for his defensive batting unlike Rishabh Pant.
A batting line-up without Rohit, Kohli and Pant would require aggressive batsmen and in that case Gill is apt. He has almost all the shots. He can do well against the second new ball as well.
Paranjpe said, “KL Rahul batted in the middle order and had some success early in his career. Shubman can repeat this. The young batsman does not have much trouble in changing his role as per the requirement of the team. ,
If Gill is successful in the middle order, then after the return of Kohli and Rohit, it will put pressure on Pujara and Rahane to perform well.
The selectors have included Shreyas Iyer as a specialist middle-order batsman but the Mumbai lad may have to wait for his Test debut.
Paranjpe feels that there will be a chance for him in the coming times.
“Look, sooner or later, Cheteshwar and Ajju (Rahane) will not play. Hence, there will be a tough fight between Vihari, Shubman and Shreyas for the middle order places.