India vs Australia: Prithvi Shaw to miss Perth Test; Another chance for KL Rahul and Murali Vijay to shine
Injuries are a part and parcel of a sportsperson’s life and none know it better than the trio of India openers Prithvi Shaw, KL Rahul and Murali Vijay. It seemed all but a case of the team management picking one between Rahul and Vijay to open with Shaw in the first Test against Australia at the Adelaide Oval. But Shaw injured his ankle during the warm-up game against Cricket Australia XI and that saw Rahul and Vijay both find a place in the XI. And they are once again likely to open in Perth as Shaw is yet to be a 100 per cent following the injury.
Hindustan Times has reliably learnt that while Shaw is undergoing treatment, it might take some more time before the young Mumbai batsman is match fit. Considering the recent cases of in-match breakdowns that the Indian team has seen, it is highly unlikely that the team management will want to draft Shaw into the playing XI half-fit. This also means that despite not setting the stage on fire in Adelaide, the duo of Rahul and Vijay will get one more opportunity to prove their worth.
Earlier, coach Ravi Shastri had said: “It was heartbreaking to see him go down. But the good thing is he’s recovering quickly. He’s already started walking. Hopefully if we can get him to run a bit by the weekend, that’s really good signs. With youth on his side there might just be a case where he might recover quicker. We’ll make a call as and when we get closer to Perth.”
While Rahul and Vijay put on three for the opening wicket in the first innings of the first Test, they did slightly better in the second innings and put on 63 — their first 50-run partnership outside the subcontinent. But both the batsmen are experienced enough to understand that the two wouldn’t have opened together in the Perth Test if Shaw was match fit.
With both the openers failing in the first innings, it was finally left on Cheteshwar Pujara to score a match-defining hundred to help India score a competitive 250 in the first innings. In fact, Kohli had hailed the impact of Man of the Match Pujara in India’s breakthrough first Test victory. “Priceless from Pujara, we were down and out at lunch on day one. His grit and determination brought us back in it ... We did not let up again for four days,” Kohli had said.
Clearly the duo of Rahul and Vijay will want to make it count on a faster track in Perth as Shaw is clearly looking to get fit in time for the Boxing Day Test in Melbourne.