'He has set the stage on fire': Former India allrounder names player who 'deserves opportunity to open' in England Tests

  • Mayank Agarwal has a fine record as opener, having scored two double-centuries, while KL Rahul has five hundreds, even though he last played a Test match for India in August of 2019.
The Indian cricket team in England. (Getty Images)
The Indian cricket team in England. (Getty Images)
Published on Jul 07, 2021 01:44 PM IST
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Byhindustantimes.com, New Delhi

Former India all-rounder Reetinder Sodhi has expressed surprise over the Indian team management’s decision to choose additional openers despite the presence of the likes of Mayank Agarwal, KL Rahul and Abhimanyu Easwaran in the 20-member squad present in England.

With Shubman Gill sustaining a shin injury and all but ruled out of the entire five-Test series against England starting August 4 at Trent Bridge, Nottingham, several reports had suggested that the team management had written to the BCCI to fly Devdutt Padikkal and Prithvi Shaw to the UK, which Sodhi feels is odd.

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"Chetan Sharma and the senior selection committee have chosen excellent players, twenty guys have been sent. Twenty players are enough, some are net bowlers and others can come in as replacements. There is a demand to send more openers from India, it is very difficult to understand this," Sodhi, who played 18 ODIs for India, told India News Sports.

Sodhi feels that Agarwal, Rahul and Easwaran are deserving candidates to represent India. Agarwal has a fine record as opener, having scored two double-centuries, while KL Rahul has five centuries, even though he last played a Test match for India in August of 2019. As far as Easwaran is concerned, he is a reserve player but his records for Bengal speak volumes of his run-scoring ability.

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"Shubman Gill is injured, you have replacement openers in Mayank Agarwal, KL Rahul and Abhimanyu Easwaran is a player who has been waiting for an opportunity for a number of years. He has set the stage on fire by scoring runs in the Ranji Trophy and even captains Bengal," Sodhi added.

"I feel he deserves an opportunity as a Test opener. At the end of the day, my personal opinion is that if you have Abhimanyu Easwaran, Mayank Agarwal and KL Rahul there, you should give them a chance first."

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Monday, November 29, 2021