VVS Laxman has cast his vote for KL Rahul ahead of Mayank Agarwal as Rohit Sharma’s opening partner for the upcoming Test series against England.
Team India will have to choose between Rahul and Agarwal after Shubman Gill was ruled out of the Test series against England. Abhimanyu Easwaran, who was initially part of the reserves, has also been added to the main Indian squad.
During a discussion on Star Sports, VVS Laxman opined that KL Rahul should bat at the top of the order. He reasoned:
“I want KL Rahul to open because he is a class batsman. He has shown that by scoring a century as an opener in an overseas series. There is no option better than him in the Indian team. Mayank Agarwal is there for sure, but I would back KL Rahul to open with Rohit Sharma.”
However, the former Indian batsman expressed surprise at the team management’s decision not to make Rahul open in either innings of the warm-up encounter.
“But I am a bit surprised that he batted in the middle order in both innings of the warm-up match. Does it mean that the selectors and team management want him to bat in the middle order and not as an opener? This I don’t know.”
KL Rahul, who also kept wickets in the practice match against a County Select XI, scored a century while batting in the middle order.
“The insecurity is always there when you play international cricket” – VVS Laxman
VVS Laxman was also asked about the pressure on Mayank Agarwal, who is likely to open in the first Test, because of Prithvi Shaw being flown over. He responded:
“The insecurity is always there when you play international cricket. As a batsman, you want to execute your formula whenever given a chance and you will give a better performance if you think about what you can control. So Mayank Agarwal has the challenge on what tactics to employ against Jimmy Anderson, Broad and other England bowlers and give a good performance.”
VVS Laxman signed off by pointing out that Prithvi Shaw and Suryakumar Yadav are only being sent across as cover for any further injuries.
“I feel Prithvi Shaw and Suryakumar Yadav have been called because there are five Test matches and it is the Covid situation where you have to quarantine and stay in the bubble as well. So it is better to have as many opening batsmen options as possible.”
The BCCI initially decided not to send a replacement for the injured Shubman Gill. But with Washington Sundar and Avesh Khan also getting ruled out of the series, Shaw and Yadav are being sent as reinforcements.