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Picking another opener against Eng would demean selectors’, Kapil on Prithvi's possible inclusion

Ever since reports of Shubman Gill getting ruled out of the England Test series emerged, talks regarding his replacement in the squad have been surfacing on social media. If reports are to be believed, the management is pondering over Prithvi Shaw’s inclusion in the squad. The Indian batsman has been in red hot form with the bat and is currently with the limited overs Indian squad in Sri Lanka.

A BCCI source in the know of developments earlier told TOI that the management was contemplating Prithvi’s inclusion as a replacement for Gill.

“Here is a batsman in absolute form right now, playing an inconsequential series (in Sri Lanka) whereas he can be in England and the team will have a cushion to fall back on. It’s been five days now and the selectors haven’t even blinked yet,” sources in the know told TOI.

Mayank Agarwal and KL Rahul are currently part of the Indian squad who could take up the role of the second opener alongside Rohit Sharma. Besides, Abhimanyu Easwaran is also in the squad as one of the four standby players.

“As against having to fall back on a batsman (Easwaran) who last did his bit in the First Class circuit more than two seasons ago and not many have seen much lately, isn’t it more sensible to have a batsman (Prithvi) who’s in form and the elements of his batting well documented already? The team knows Prithvi, understands Prithvi. If they think he should be in England, then there is no reason why the BCCI should not send him,” the source added.

Kapil Dev criticises Indian Cricket Team Management for contemplating the addition of another opener despite having the likes of Mayank and KL Rahul in the squad

India’s World Cup-winning captain, Kapil Dev isn’t too pleased with the management’s apparent inclination to add another opener in Prithvi Shaw in the squad. The former skipper stated that there is no need to add another opener considering that Mayank Agarwal and KL Rahul are already in the squad. Kapil Dev believes that it would demean the selectors who have picked the squad earlier.

“I don’t think there is any need for it. There should be some respect for the selectors too. They have picked a team and I’m sure it wouldn’t have happened without their (Shastri and Kohli) consultation. I mean, you have two such big opening batsmen in KL Rahul and Mayank Agarwal. Do you really need a third option? I don’t think it’s right," Kapil said on the ‘Wah Cricket’ show on ABP News.

“I want that the captain and the management should have a say, but not at the expense of over-ruling the selectors and say that ‘these are the players we need’. In that case, we don’t even need selectors. I am feeling a bit odd knowing that something like this has happened, because if it has, it demeans the selectors and their role," he added. Dev went on to say that there is no need to create “unnecessary controversy” by mulling such a move.

“Only Virat and Ravi can say that. I feel that this is a wrong set-up to enter. The players you have backed, you cannot demean them. They are big players and I wouldn’t want something like this to happen. No need for any unnecessary controversy," he said.

India are scheduled to play a five-match Test series against England, beginning at Trent Bridge on August 4, 2021. The Test series will conclude on September 14, 2021.

India are also expected to play a practice game against a select county XI between July 20-22 after BCCI made a formal request to ECB regarding the same.


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