India vs Australia: Rohit Sharma in playing XI for first Test? Sunil Gavaskar has his say

Updated on Nov 26, 2018 05:04 PM IST

Hanuma Vihari warmed up nicely for the Australia Test series with half-centuries for India A against New Zealand in the first unofficial ‘Test’ while Rohit Sharma was a surprise addition to the Tests.

Rohit Sharma takes part in a practice session ahead of the 1st test match between Sri Lanka and India(NurPhoto via Getty Images)
Rohit Sharma takes part in a practice session ahead of the 1st test match between Sri Lanka and India(NurPhoto via Getty Images)
Hindustan Times, New Delhi | ByHT Correspondent

The four-match Test series between India and Australia is just round the corner and former skipper Sunil Gavaskar believes that Hanuma Vihari should play in the first Test instead of Rohit Sharma.

“I would look at Hanuma Vihari because, in the previous Test match that he played, he scored a fifty. So I go with Vihari. And then I would take two spinners and two new-ball bowlers with Hanuma bowling a bit. But again, at Adelaide only because the pitch favours spinners a little,” said Gavaskar on air after the third T20 International.

Hanuma Vihari warmed up nicely for the Australia Test series with half-centuries for India A against New Zealand in the first unofficial ‘Test’ and he also performed well in his debut Test against West Indies.

READ: India vs Australia: Team India Report Card of T20 international series

Rohit played just two Tests in 2018, against South Africa, scored only 78 runs at an average of 19.50.

Gavaskar also said that he would ideally like to see young Prithvi Shaw and seasoned campaigner Murali Vijay open when the Indians take on Australia in the opening Test of the series from December 6 in Adelaide.

Speaking on air, Gavaskar said: “He (Shaw) is got to play the first Test. He has had his form not just in New Zealand, but also in the two Test matches that he played in home. Rahul’s form has not been well. If Rahul had been scoring runs in Australia, even in the T20s if he would have scored at least 30s or 40s, we could have said yes.”

“But I agree with Robin Uthappa (a pundit and co-commentator), I think it has got to be Murali Vijay and Prithvi. Vijay has been doing well overseas for a long time. It had been a pretty ordinary series in England, and that can happen to anybody. But he is a good player and I would like to see him open. He and Shaw will make just the right combination. For Shaw is attacking, like (Virender) Sehwag, he likes to get to the ball. Murali, on the other hand, will play the role of an anchor,” he added.

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