'Why do they suddenly want him in middle-order?': Chopra 'surprised' over India opener's change in batting position

  • Aakash Chopra has expressed surprise over reports that the team management is considering KL Rahul as a middle-order batsman for the Test series against England.
File image of Aakash Chopra. (Aakash Chopra/Instagram)
File image of Aakash Chopra. (Aakash Chopra/Instagram)
Updated on Jul 08, 2021 01:49 PM IST
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By hindustantimes.com, New Delhi

With Shubman Gill all but ruled out of the entire Test series between India and England, the obvious choice to open the innings along with Rohit Sharma is Mayank Agarwal. Agarwal has a fine record as opener, scoring 1005 runs with two double centuries, and even though the last couple of Test matches did not return good numbers for him, he is one of the best openers India have with them at the moment.

Besides Agarwal, India also have the option of trying out KL Rahul but former batsman Aakash Chopra feels that will not be the case and has expressed surprise over reports that the team management is considering Rahul as a middle-order batsman. This has left Chopra slightly perplexed, given that so far, Rahul has mostly played Test cricket batting as an opener. Rahul has opened for India in 33 of the 36 Tests played, scoring 1915 runs at an average of 36.82.

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"There are two very important aspects of this story. The first is that you have Mayank Agarwal and Abhimanyu Easwaran available to open the innings. Second is that there is KL Rahul as well but it is believed that he will not open. The team management has already declared that Rahul is only a middle-order choice," Chopra said on his YouTube channel.

"I mean, this is surprising, right? After all, he has scored five Test centuries and all of them have come opening the innings. Why do they suddenly want him in the middle-order, I don't know."

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"I thought he was always a back-up opener but apparently, he's not. Even in extraordinary circumstances. I do understand but what I can't get a grip of is that Rahul is no longer an opener, he is a middle-order batsman. Wow."

India could also use the services of Abhimanyu Easwaran, who is currently a reserve player with the team, but is expected to be drafted into the main squad once Gill is officially ruled out.

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Saturday, October 23, 2021