A source in the Indian Cricket Board (BCCI) said, ‘When the New Zealand team came to India in late 2021, the name of Shubman Gill was considered in the middle order as Lokesh Rahul had to open the innings with Mayank Agarwal. After this Rahul got injured and Gill started the innings. After this that Chobara got injured. His name was considered for the middle order in red ball cricket.
Captain Rohit Sharma and vice-captain Rahul are the first choice as the opening pair in the team. After this, it is decided to play Cheteshwar Pujara at number three and Virat Kohli at number four. The fifth position becomes very important as it is expected that the batsman coming down the order will face the second new ball. In Gill’s case, having played regularly in Test cricket and starting his red-ball career as a middle-order batsman, he will have the upper hand.
Gill played in the middle order on the ‘A’ tour of West Indies where he also scored a double century when Rahul Dravid was in charge of India A, said the former national selector. In fact, initially he was a middle-order batsman who was converted into an opener. Suryakumar’s dominance against spinners can be crucial on spin-friendly pitches.
He said, “If Nathan Lyon is able to turn his off-spin balls more, then Suryakumar can disturb his rhythm with his footwork, but against Pat Cummins and Josh Hazlewood, Gill is a better option.” Iyer, who was ruled out of the limited-overs home series against New Zealand, has not fully recovered from the injury and is undergoing rehabilitation at the National Cricket Academy.
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