Team India faced a huge blow after first-choice opener Shubman Gill suffered a series injury. Shubman was ruled out of the entire five-match Test series against England because of shin splints. Reportedly after Gill got injured India called up for a replacement opener. The two names that were demanded by India for the England series were Devdutt Padikkal and Prithvi Shaw.
Both the players are part of India’s second-string squad which is currently in Sri Lanka for the white ball series. Also, KL Rahul is considered as a middle-order batsman by team India, Aakash Chopra has raised questions against India for treating Rahul as a middle-order batter.
Cricketer turned commentator uploaded a video on YouTube channel, which is part of his ‘Betway super over’ series. In the video, Chopra expressed that he is surprised that India considers KL Rahul for the middle-order position. Aakash said:
“KL Rahul is also present there but it has been said that he will not open. Team management has already declared that KL Rahul is only a middle-order choice. Why do you suddenly want him to bat in the middle order?”
Former Indian opener also highlighted that all the five-Test centuries scored by KL Rahul in his career have come while batting at the top of the order. Aakash Chopra said:
“I mean this is surprising because he has scored five Test centuries, all came there (at the top of the order) only. I don’t know, I thought he was always a backup opener but apparently, he is not, even in extraordinary circumstances. It’s very interesting.”
KL Rahul has played 36 Test matches for India scoring 1915 runs at an average of 36.82. Notably, he has batted most time as an opener and some of his best knocks have come while opening the innings for India.
Aakash Chopra opens up on the selectors turning down India’s request of extra openers
Chopra also talked about the selector’s decision of not fulfilling India’s request of sending Shaw and Padikkal for the England series. Aakash stated:
“When the selectors were asked to send either Prithvi Shaw or Devdutt Padikkal, who are currently in Sri Lanka, they said nothing doing and that they cannot send them. They are here for a reason and you already have replacements.”
Selectors have turned down Ind Management’s request to send 2 backup openers (Prithvi & Padikkal). No replacement will be sent. If Gill is out, Easwaran will be drafted in. Rohit & Mayank start as openers and while Rahul was picked in middle order, he can open if needed #Breaking
— Vikrant Gupta (@vikrantgupta73) July 6, 2021
The 42-year-old supported the decision of selectors not sending Devdutt Padikkal and Prithvi Shaw to England. Aakash Chopra asserted:
“If they are not sending Prithvi Shaw and Devdutt Padikkal, I think it is also justified because they will play there first and Sri Lanka is still on the red list when you talk about England. A long hard quarantine, getting them ready and you don’t even know whether they can play because Mayank Agarwal and Abhimanyu Easwaran are already there.”
Selectors expressed their desire to have Prithvi Shaw and Devdutt Padikkal on the England tour but as it looks the BCCI has turned down the offer.