India wore a new batting order during the recently concluded first Test against Sri Lanka as big guns like Cheteshwar Pujara and Ajinkya Rahane were axed from the Test team. As for Hanuma Vihari, he walked out to bat at number three, and Shreyas Iyer stepped in to bat at Rahane’s place. Shubman Gill was another notable name warming the benches in the match.
The team management had to choose between Shubman Gill and Mayank Agarwal to join Rohit at the top of the order due to KL Rahul’s absence. Agarwal was struggling in South Africa’s Test series earlier this year. Meanwhile, Gill has scored 52, 47, and 44 in his last three innings, which led to many believing Gill would get the opportunity, but the team management opted to back Agarwal.
He got off to a promising start but ended up being bowled for 33 off 49 balls. Speaking about India’s batting order, Gavaskar backed their decision to play Mayank Agarwal rather than Gill. Despite pointing out that Gill has not played any cricket for the past two months, the former Indian skipper praised Agarwal for raking up big runs in home Tests.
Whenever India plays at home, Mayank Agarwal scores big: Sunil Gavaskar
“The problem is Gill hasn’t played cricket for two months. He hasn’t played even Ranji Trophy, and if you are going to represent India, you need to practice some. Of course, he has the talent, but at the end of the day, it’s all about form”, Gavaskar said on Sports Tak.
“When you look closely, you will see that Mayank Agarwal always scores big when India plays at home. He bats like a boss at home but not overseas. In home series, he has at least one big hundred or double century. So, he should open when India plays at home,” he added.
Meanwhile, Vihari and Iyer were also backed by the batting legend to continue in the batting order. At No. 3, there is Hanuma Vihari. What has he done wrong? In South Africa, he steadied the tail and batted defiantly, adding runs in India’s second inning,” said the 72-year-old further.