Sunil Gavaskar, ahead of the Test series against Australia, has reckoned that it could be a bat-off between Shubman Gill and KL Rahul for featuring at No.5 for the Men in Blue. He also added that Ajinkya Rahane could step himself into Virat Kohli’s shoes at No.4 following his return home.
Well before the start of the four-match Test series against Australia, the visitors India were rocked back by the news that Virat Kohli would miss the last three fixtures of the tour and would only feature in the first Test. That has prompted a huge debate on how Kohli would be dearly missed in the middle-order and who would replace him.
But the biggest debate still remained on who would be India’s No.5 going into the Test series, with Ajinkya Rahane currently holding the place. Former Indian opener Sunil Gavaskar reckoned that after Kohli’s return, it could be a bat-off between Shubman Gill and KL Rahul for getting a look-in as India’s No.5.
“Then you might have Rahul bat at No.5 or Shubman Gill. I would think whoever bats well is going to win the game. Australia has played a lot of (day-night) matches, they have the experience of knowing exactly what happens when the sun’s going down and how to bat and bowl at that particular point of time,” said Gavaskar in a panel discussion aired on 7 cricket in reply to Ricky Ponting’s question, reported HT.
Former Australian skipper Ricky Ponting questioned the Mumbaikar on who would take up Kohli's position and bat at the coveted position.
“Virat’s obviously there only for the first Test then you’d expect Rahane to take over (as captain) but they (India) have to find someone to bat at No.4. Who do you expect to take that No.4 spot?” Asked former Australia skipper Ponting, who was the host of the panel discussion aired on 7 cricket, the official broadcaster of India vs Australia Tests."
The Mumbaikar, in reply, reckoned that Ajinkya Rahane, who would skipper in the side in Kohli’s absence will also take up the mantle of batting at No.4 once Kohli goes back home.
“It looks to me it could be KL Rahul. Or no, actually I think Rahane will go at No.4 once Virat goes away,” Gavaskar said in reply.