Former Indian player Aakash Chopra reckons that whoever will play in place of Shaw will be in a tough spot as they need to perform well given Rohit Sharma returns back for the third Test. He also feels that Shaw isn't going to play the MCG Test as he's low on confidence and runs.
India's top-order always remains a major point of concern on away tours and the ongoing Test series against Australia is no different. Just like the 2018/19 tour where India first played Vijay and Rahul in first two Tests as openers then Mayank and Vihari in Boxing Day Test before Rahul was back to open in the last Test, this time India are likely to chop and change their top albeit as early as the second Test. Prithvi Shaw's poor run, technical deficiency and an in-form back-up in form of Shubman Gill mean there are low chances of India persisting with the Mumbaikar.
The renowned cricket expert and Former Indian Test opener Aakash Chopra backed KL Rahul, who has hardly played red-ball cricket since being dropped from the Test side after the Windies away series last year, as the opener ahead of Shubman Gill. However, he feels whoever opens will be in a tough spot with Rohit Sharma's likely return for the last two Tests.
“My vote is with KL Rahul but they are likely to go with Shubman Gill. But whether you open with KL Rahul or Shubman Gill, the sword will be hanging over their head as Rohit Sharma will be back for the next Test,” he added.
“So Mayank Agarwal, KL Rahul and Shubman Gill, whoever fails here, is going to be dropped for the third Test. I feel Ajinkya Rahane should come to bat at No.4. At No.5, you can play KL Rahul or Shubman Gill. Rahul and Shubman Gill will definitely be playing the Melbourne Test,” said Chopra.
He also reckons that Shaw might well be dropped for the second Test as there's need for someone who's in right mental space to play the Boxing Day Test. Shaw could survive merely six deliveries in the first Test and was bowled by nip-backers in both the innings.
“It looks like Prithvi Shaw is not going to get a chance in the second match. And I can totally understand because he has not scored the runs and his confidence is down. If the team says it is short-term and it doesn’t mean he will not be considered in the future, they can definitely do that. They should play someone who is in the right mental space and who they feel can provide a good start,” said Chopra in his latest video, reported HT.
India are 0-1 down going into the second Test which will be played in Melbourne from December 26.