Former opener Aakash Chopra has opined that Shubman Gill should be preferred ahead of KL Rahul as Virat Kohli‘s replacement once the Indian captain leaves for home after the first Test against Australia.
He made this observation while responding to viewer questions in a video shared on his Facebook page.
Aakash Chopra was asked whether Shubman Gill or KL Rahul should replace Virat Kohli in the second Test match. He responded that the Karnataka batsman could even play the first Test as an opener instead of Prithvi Shaw.
“It is a good question as Kohli will leave after the first Test and who will replace him. But there is a slight catch there about who will be opening in the first Test match, whether it will be Prithvi Shaw or KL Rahul will get his chance there itself.”
The reputed commentator added that Shubman Gill should get preference over KL Rahul when it comes to a middle-order spot.
“If you are looking to bat someone in the middle order, I feel Shubman Gill should get the no ahead of KL Rahul.”
Aakash Chopra observed that KL Rahul could be considered as a replacement for Prithvi Shaw if the Mumbaikar does not deliver the goods at the top of the order.
“If Prithvi Shaw fails or you want someone to open instead of Prithvi Shaw, if there is a spot as an opener, then KL Rahul.”
Aakash Chopra signed off by iterating that when it comes to a place in the middle order, Shubman Gill would pip KL Rahul to the position as the former is higher in the pecking order.
“But in the middle order batting, as they say to go by the rules, in terms of the pecking order Shubman Gill’s name after Virat Kohli is ahead of KL Rahul. So, in my opinion Shubman Gill will be my choice.”
Although Shubman Gill is yet to make his Test debut, he has an outstanding record in first-class cricket. The Punjab batsman has amassed 2133 runs in the 21 matches he has played at an extraordinary average of 73.55.
Highest career batting averages in first-class cricket
Min 2000 fc runs (current players only)
73.55 – Shubman Gill (Ind)
72.59 – Bahir Shah (Afg)
65.71 – Pathum Nissanka (SL)
61.73 – Prithvi Shaw (Ind)
60.82 – Rinku Singh (Ind) #RanjiTrophy
— Mohandas Menon (@mohanstatsman) February 15, 2020