The first battle between India and Australia will kick off today at VCA Stadium in Nagpur. The absence of Rishabh Pant and Shreyas Iyer due to injuries have left a big hole in the Indian middle order ahead of the Border-Gavaskar Trophy opener. Pant is ruled out of the entire series while Iyer is likely to join the squad for the second Test match in New Delhi starting February 17. Team India sometimes revealed their playing XI a day before the Test match, but India captain Rohit Sharma decided to keep the mystery on this time.
In a pre-match press conference, Rohit admitted that they are yet to decide between Shubman Gill and Suryakumar Yadav. Gill has been in supreme form. He has scored a lot of big hundreds. On the other hand, Suryakumar has shown what he brings to the range, but we have not decided whom we will go with, Rohit confessed when asked about Iyer’s replacement.
Pant has been a match-winner for India in the longest format. In his absence, the team management wants someone who can take the attack to the opposition. There is no better batter for that job at the moment than Suryakumar. We will miss Pant but we have guys to fill inhis role. We have had a good talk with the batters about their plans and hopefully,we will execute them well, said the Indian captain. Rohit’s answer, when asked about the choice of spinners, was all four spinners are quality bowlers, Ashwin and Jadeja have played a lot together, and Axar and Kuldeep whenever they have got the opportunity have done well.