'Twice he's scored a double century opening the innings': Gavaskar suggests potential change for India for England Tests
- For things to change this time around, a constant effort needs to be made by India, and former India captain Sunil Gavaskar feels it can start by reshuffling India's opening combination.
India have a decent break ahead of the start of the five-Test series against England. Following their defeat to New Zealand in the final of the World Test Championship, India have time to fine tune and work on the areas that let them down in Southampton against New Zealand. The team is reported to break away from the bubble and enjoy their time in England before regrouping on July 14 and start preparations for England Tests.
India's last three tours of England suggest that they have never found it easy against the moving Dukes ball in the UK. They last won a Test series in England in 2007 under Rahul Dravid, but have since lost 0-4, 1-3, 1-4 in subsequent tours in 2011, 2014 and 2018 respectively. For things to change this time around, a constant effort needs to be made, and former India captain Sunil Gavaskar feels it can start by reshuffling India's opening combination.
The BCCI has written to the ECB to conduct a couple of warm-up matches for India ahead of the England series starting August 4, and that is where Gavaskar believes the management can try testing Mayank Agarwal and Shubman Gill before deciding who gets the nod to open with Rohit Sharma. India have stuck with the pair of Rohit and Gill since the Australia series late last year, but the 21-year-old's technical shortcomings are proving to be a but of an issue for him reckons Gavaskar.
"Mayank Agarwal has done a really good job for India, twice he's scored a double century opening the innings. It’s a good thing that the BCCI and Jay Shah have taken the initiative to conduct some warm-up matches before the England Tests so there you can decide who between Gill and Agarwal can open for India," Gavaskar told Sports Tak.
"Make them open the innings together because Rohit Sharma is a certainly and he can be rested for a game. That would give you an idea who has the better technique for English conditions. And then based on that, they can make a decision whether they want to play Mayank Agarwal or Shubman Gill."
As per the former India batsman, Gill's problem lies in his lack of footwork, and Gavaskar reckons is not something that was highlighted in the WTC final in England but even at home, when the batsman's runs dried up.
"His (Gill's) footwork isn't much. He only goes in front and that's not the case with him only in England. Even in the series in India, there too, he had just one movement which is forward. There's no effort to go on the backfoot and that is why he plays across the line," Gavaskar pointed out.
"Because once your feet go forward, with that balance, it's tough to get back on the backfoot if the length is slightly short, is tough. So he needs to work hard, there's no doubt on his talent. But if he works a bit hard, he will get the reward."