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'Whether he scores or not, on merit he deserves a chance': Shastri's crisp remark ends Rahul vs Gill debate for 3rd Test

Feb 28, 2023 08:54 AM IST

Amid the talk, former India head coach Ravi Shastri has given his verdict on the debate on the eve of the third Test, slated to be played at the Holkar Stadium in Indore.

The KL Rahul versus Shubman Gill debate has been the cynosure for India in the build-up to the third Test match of the Border-Gavaskar Trophy series. KL Rahul's has so far been backed as the No.1 choice by the team management, but his prolonged lean patch as led to calls for him to be dropped from the squad and pick an in-form Shubman Gill. Amid the talk, former India head coach Ravi Shastri has given his verdict on the debate on the eve of the third Test, slated to be played at the Holkar Stadium in Indore.

KL Rahul; Ravi Shastri; Shubman Gill

The preferred choice from veteran cricketers has been Gill even before the series had started in Nagpur. He hit his maiden Test century last December against Bangladesh and then scored a magnificent 208 in an ODI against New Zealand in the previous month.

However, the team management went ahead with the experienced Rahul for the first two Tests. The opener scored only 38 runs in three innings, which took his career average down to 35 in 47 Tests.

Speaking on the most recent episode of The ICC Review, Shastri feels that it is time for Rahul Dravid, incumbent coach and captain Rohit Sharma to back Gill for the Indore Test.

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"He (Gill) is that good at the moment and whether he scores or doesn’t score, on form, on merit, he deserves a chance," Shastri said.

Shastri also believes that the inclusion of Gill will not affect the team's combination or plan as India aim for a series win in the third Test against Australia, having already retained the trophy for the fourth straight time.

"Not at all. I mean, it's straight up, It comes down to performance,” Shastri replied when asked about how making changes to a winning team may effect combination. “You stick it on the board. This is the performance. It's a tough thing for a coach, I remember I had to do it many times, where you just sit down, and explain to the player, ‘This is what's on the board, what do you think?’

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