Reetinder Sodhi has questioned Team India’s reported demand for two additional openers, considering the multiple options already at their disposal.
The Indian team management apparently asked for Prithvi Shaw and Devdutt Padikkal to be sent across to England as replacements for the injured Shubman Gill. Their request has reportedly been turned down by the Indian selectors.
During a discussion on India News, Reetinder Sodhi lauded the work done by the selection committee and pointed out that the twenty players already sent to England should suffice. He said:
“Chetan Sharma and the senior selection committee have chosen excellent players, twenty guys have been sent. Twenty players are enough, some are net bowlers and others can come in as replacements. There is a demand to send more openers from India, it is very difficult to understand this.”
The former all-rounder highlighted that Team India already has capable opening batsmen options in Mayank Agarwal, KL Rahul and Abhimanyu Easwaran. Reetinder Sodhi elaborated:
“Shubman Gill is injured, you have replacement openers in Mayank Agarwal, KL Rahul and Abhimanyu Easwaran is a player who has been waiting for an opportunity for a number of years. He has set the stage on fire by scoring runs in the Ranji Trophy and even captains Bengal. I feel he deserves an opportunity as a Test opener.”
Easwaran has amassed 4401 runs at an average of 43.57 in 64 first-class matches. This includes 13 hundreds and 18 half-centuries.
“Devdutt Padikkal has not done much against the red ball” – Reetinder Sodhi
Reetinder Sodhi added that Devdutt Padikkal and Prithvi Shaw are not very enticing options to be sent to England. He explained:
“Devdutt Padikkal has not done much against the red ball. Prithvi Shaw is playing very well against the white ball but if we remember Australia, he was a failure. It is very difficult to understand the demand for Shaw and Padikkal for English conditions.”
The 40-year-old signed off by reiterating that preference should be given to players who are already part of the Indian squad.
“But at the end of the day, my personal opinion is that if you have Abhimanyu Easwaran, Mayank Agarwal and KL Rahul there, you should give them a chance first.”
Padikkal averages just 34.88 in first-class cricket and is yet to score a century as well. Although Shaw has a decent first-class record and has a Test century to his name as well, he has not played any competitive red-ball cricket since an out-of-sorts display in the solitary Test he played in the Border-Gavaskar Trophy.