'Batting superbly at the moment': Rahul Dravid lists 3 opening options for India if Rohit Sharma misses out
- Rahul Dravid made things really interesting and upped the suspense quotient when he said that besides Mayank Agarwal, the management is weighing in on two more options to open the batting in case Rohit Sharma does not recover in time for England Test.
Head coach Rahul Dravid remained tight-lipped about India's Playing XI for the all-important fifth Test against England but mentioned that he has his combinations sorted as per various scenarios. Based on how the pitch will behave, and most importantly, how Covid-hit Rohit Sharma progresses ahead of the Edgbaston Test, as per Dravid, India's XI will be finalised. The coach pointed out that although Rohit has not yet been ruled out, the next few hours are crucial. However, if Rohit indeed does not return a negative Test, India will be without their captain and one opener short.
Mayank Agarwal was called up as cover for Rohit. In a perfect world, the Karnataka opener would have been the ideal choice to partner Shubman Gill at the top. But Dravid made things really interesting and upped the suspense quotient when he said that besides Agarwal, the management is weighing in on two more options to open the batting in place of Rohit.
"We'll make a decision. We will weigh a lot of factors. Obviously, Mayank is a regular opener. someone who opens regularly. We have other options too; Bharat himself has opened in a lot of games for Andhra and showed in that side game that he is batting superbly at the moment. He scored a 70 and 40 (43) opening the batting. We got him to open in that innings keeping a lot of things in mind," Dravid said during a press conference.
The third option Dravid pondered over is Cheteshwar Pujara. India's rock at No.3 for years, Pujara has previously opened in seven innings and has in fact scored 395 runs including two half-centuries and an unbeaten 145 vs Sri Lanka in 2015.
"Pujara has got a lot of great quality. He has opened for India as well in the past. So I would not want to give things away but like I said, in our minds, we are clear in the direction we are going. We will see what happens to Rohit but I am not at the liberty to disclose the Playing XI. But we have clarity," added Dravid.