Following a horrendous collapse in the first Day/Night Test against Australia at the Adelaide Oval, former Indian batsman Gautam Gambhir has suggested changes that India should make in their playing XI ahead of the Boxing/Day Test in Melbourne, starting from December 26.
Team India recorded its lowest Test total in the second innings (36/9 retired hurt) and eventually lost the game by 8 wickets on Saturday. Hence, there is a lot of speculation that there will be a lot of changes in the squad for the second game.
While Virat Kohli will return home on paternity leave, Mohammed Shami has also been ruled out of the remaining games after he picked up an injury while batting. Gautam started off by picking up the opening pair.
Though he wouldn't mind giving Prithvi Shaw another chance, Gambhir believes that Gill should open the innings for India along with Mayank Agarwal, as the youngster has been struggling and is low in confidence. He also wants Pujara to bat at his regular no. 3 spot.
“I wanted Prithvi Shaw to start the series because if a player has scored a hundred and two fifties in four Test matches and hit a fifty in the last tough tour to New Zealand, then you start with him, no doubt the form was not good,” said Gambhir
“But now in the type of form he is in, more than the form his confidence is very low, so I will want to see Shubman Gill at the top along with Mayank Agarwal and Pujara at No.3,” he said in the Star Sports show 'Cricket Connected'.
Gambhir wants Ajinkya Rahane to fill the void left by Virat Kohli, who generally bats at no. 4 in Test, and lead from the front. He also said that KL Rahul should be added to the squad to increase the depth of the team.
He also wants Rishabh Pant and Ravindra Jadeja to replace Wriddhiman Saha and Hanuma Vihari respectively. The former southpaw wants the visitors to play with 5 bowling options as Vihari hasn’t done anything substantial in the first Test.
"I will want to see Rahane at No.4. I will not want to see Rahane stay at No.5 because if he is the captain now, he has to lead from the front. So, Rahane should play at No.4 in the place of Virat Kohli. KL Rahul should play at No.5 and Rishabh Pant should play at No.6.”
“Jadeja and Ashwin should play at No.7 and No.8 and then three seamers. I will want to go in with five bowlers.”
Gautam Gambhir’s XI: Shubman Gill, Mayank Agarwal, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane (C), KL Rahul, Rishabh Pant (WK), Ravindra Jadeja, Ravi Ashwin, Umesh Yadav, Jasprit Bumrah, and Navdeep Saini/Mohammed Siraj.