Aakash Chopra believes that No. 3 is the right batting position for Shubhman Gill and not as an opener while playing for the Indian national team. Chopra further added that the Punjab youngster will have to wait for his opportunity and might not find a place in the playing XI against Sri Lanka.
India are set to play a two-match Test series starting from March 4. The first Test of the series in Mohali will also be the 100th Test for Virat Kohli. Kohli and Pant who were rested for the T20I series have returned for the Tests. The team will also witness one major change as Ajinkya Rahane and Cheteshwar Pujara will not feature in Test cricket for the first time in years. KL Rahul will miss the game and Shreyas Iyer might be included in the squad. Also Hanuma Vihari might get an opportunity.
Shubhman Gill is also included in the squad but his chances of getting into the team are slim as Rohit Sharma and Mayank Agarwal are the preferred openers over him. Former India cricketer Aakash Chopra is of the opinion that Gill will have to wait for his opportunity in Test cricket. He also added that Gill is a No. 3 player and not an opener.
"Two big slots are vacant because Pujara and Rahane are not there. I doubt Shubman Gill can get a chance at No. 3. He will get it in the longer run. I feel he is a No. 3 player and not an opener. But at this point in time, I think he will have to wait," Chopra said on his Youtube channel.
"Shreyas Iyer and Hanuma Vihari - quite obvious, you will go with six batters in which one will be Rishabh Pant. I will go with Shreyas at No. 3 but the team might play Hanuma at No. 3. I want to play Shreyas at No. 3, Hanuma stays at No. 5, where he is.”
"So Rohit Sharma, Mayank Agarwal, Shreyas Iyer - I am keeping him at No. 3, Virat Kohli at No. 4, I am going with Hanuma Vihari at No. 5 and I am playing Rishabh Pant at No. 6."
India have four spinners in the squad. They have Ravindra Jadeja, R Ashwin, Jayant Yadav and Kuldeep Yadav with them. The series might be a chance for Kuldeep to leave his impact in Test cricket. Jadeja is also coming back to the Test squad after staying away from the game for a short period and will look to contribute with his all-round skills. Chopra stated that the team will go with Jadeja and either Jayant or Ashwin.
"At No. 7, I have got Ravindra Jadeja. If Ashwin is available, then Ashwin. If he is not available, then Jayant Yadav. I will go with two spinners only, whether Ashwin is available or not because it will not be a rank turner, it is winter time and the pitch will not crumble in Mohali," he opined.
"I want to play three fast bowlers which include Mohammed Shami - welcome back because we have not seen you for a long time, you are being kept slightly away from white-ball cricket but this is your area. Along with him will be Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammed Siraj," he revealed.