'He has had an excellent career so far': Jaffer names his 'preference' for Gill's replacement during England Test series
- With Shubman Gill likely to miss the Test series against England, Wasim Jaffer knows which opening batsman his vote is going to.
Reports of Shubman Gill sustaining a leg injury comes as a big blow for the Indian team. The youngster has had a fine start of his Test career and his untimely injury – which is expected to see him miss at least the first Test against England or more – will now force the team management to shuffle the opening combination. Since December last year, Gill and Rohit Sharma have been opening the innings for India, but rest assured, that will change once the India vs England five Test series gets underway in August.
The injury to Gill opens the doors for Mayank Agarwal or KL Rahul to slot back in as opener of the team. Agarwal did a terrific job at the top of the order, scoring two double centuries before falling behind to Gill, while Rahul has not played a Test match for India since mid-2019. The presence of Abhimanyu Easwaran as a reserve player also gives India an option. However, if it was up to Wasim Jaffer, he would give his vote to Agarwal. The former India opening batsman reckons Agarwal is a much better fit and should get the preference over Rahul.
"It will be a very big opportunity for Mayank Agarwal and KL Rahul with Mayank being my first preference. He has had an excellent career so far. He was dropped after two poor outings in Australia but I am sure he will be looking forward to this opportunity. It is a very big series of five Test matches which can make or break a cricketer's career. I feel KL Rahul can also fit somewhere in the middle-order if not as an opener," Jaffer said on his YouTube video.
Weighing in on Gill, Jaffer rued the youngster's injury for a series as big as this. The batsman began his career in blazing fashion in the Test series against Australia before runs dried up against England at home and in the IPL. Fingers have been pointed at Gill's technique even though he did get a start in the first innings of the WTC final. And especially now, with India seeking a Test series win in England after 14 years, Jaffer feels the blow has come at the wrong time for India and Gill alike.
"It will be a big blow for India as well as Shubman Gill because as a youngster, you look forward to this kind of series to make a name for yourself. Considering that we judge a player by their overseas performance, it will be a setback for him to miss the first couple of games," Jaffer added.
"It will be a very important series for India because we haven't won any series in England since 2007-08 though we have come close. Although Shubman Gill's injury will be a big blow, the players will look to step up and deliver."