Iyer, Gill likely, Vihari to wait


India Playing XI 1st Test: Competition between Iyer & Vihari – With Ajinkya Rahane and Cheteshwar Pujara dropped from the Test team after a string of poor performances, Shreyas Iyer and Shubman Gill will form the new Indian middle-order. However, new Test captain Rohit Sharma will have to justify benching Hanuma Vihari after having him in long-term plans. Follow IND vs SL Test Series Live Updates on InsideSport.IN.

On his Test captaincy debut, Rohit Sharma will usher in a new era for India’s middle-order with Shubman Gill, Hanuma Vihari and Shreyas Iyer becoming long-term replacements of veterans Cheteshwar Pujara and Ajinkya Rahane.

It is now clear that Rahane and Pujara won’t be called for the three Tests this season (two against Sri Lanka and one away game against England) where Hanuma Vihari, Shubman Gill, along Shreyas Iyer will be the options.

India Playing XI 1st Test: Shreyas Iyer & Gill likely to form new Indian middle-order, Vihari to be benched- Follow Live Updates

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India Playing XI 1st Test: Shreyas Iyer & Gill likely to form new Indian middle-order, Vihari to be benched- Follow Live Updates

Chairman of the selection committee Chetan Sharma said Shubman Gill is being considered for the middle-order and he will be in plans. While he occupies the No 3 spot followed by Virat Kohli at No 4, it is the No 5 that will be the bone of contention. As things stand, Shreyas Iyer is just ahead of Hanuma Vihari after three consecutive half-centuries in the T20s apart from smashing a century on Test debut.

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India Playing XI 1st Test: Shreyas Iyer & Gill likely to form new Indian middle-order, Vihari to be benched- Follow Live Updates

Also Read: IND vs SL Test Series: Rohit Sharma eyes World No 1 spot on maiden Test captaincy voyage in Mohali, check weather, pitch report, squads, LIVE streaming- All you need to know

India Playing XI 1st Test: 

1. Rohit Sharma (Captain)
2. Mayank Agarwal
3. Shubman Gill
4. Virat Kohli
5. Shreyas Iyer
6. Rishabh Pant (WK)
7. Ravindra Jadeja
8. Ravichandran Ashwin
9. Mohammed Shami
10. Jasprit Bumrah (VC)
11. Mohammed Siraj

India Playing XI 1st Test: Shreyas Iyer & Gill likely to form new Indian middle-order, Vihari to be benched- Follow Live Updates

India Playing XI 1st Test: Shreyas Iyer & Gill likely to form new Indian middle-order, Vihari to be benched- Follow Live Updates

India Playing XI 1st Test: Why is Shreyas Iyer ahead of Hanuma Vihari?

  • Shreyas Iyer has scored four half-centuries in his last five innings.
  • Iyer scored a Test century on debut and the team management will want to cash in on that rich form.
  • Hanuma Vihari too has looked good. He slammed a half-century and a century on Ranji return besides gritty knocks against South Africa and South Africa A.
  • But it will come down to preference while Hanuma will too get his chance.

India Playing XI 1st Test: Shreyas Iyer & Gill likely to form new Indian middle-order, Vihari to be benched- Follow Live Updates

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Since Gill is raring to go, head coach Rahul Dravid will perhaps like to use him as a middle-order batter, who can also be an enforcer if the situation demands.

“I believe Shubman is India’s best bet at number three. Yes, he has opened but Mayank is there alongside Rohit and Shubman has the game to bat at that number,” former national selector and Test opener Devang Gandhi told PTI.

India Playing XI: Why Shubman Gill is the perfect fit at No 3?

  • Shubman Gill had already established himself in the middle order smashing a double against West Indies A in West Indies.
  • As he opens in Test, he is well-versed with playing new ball.
  • At No 3, he might have to play the new ball if an opener falls quickly.
  • Gill plays the moving ball well with his repertoire of strokes

India Playing XI 1st Test: Shreyas Iyer & Gill likely to form new Indian middle-order, Vihari to be benched- Follow Live Updates

But what could be the rationale of using a player like Vihari at No.6 and not at No.3 as his technique is closer to that of Pujara who used to blunt the new ball?

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“Firstly, Vihari has played only one Test at home and he, above everyone else, deserves a fair run. Secondly, if you see for India and India A, he has batted at No.5 abroad but in India, he can come in at No.6 when spinners will be in operation and the ‘SG Test’ ball becomes relatively old. Vihari has a fantastic record against spinners in Ranji Trophy and that’s something the team management can exploit,” Devang Gandhi said.

India’s Test squad: Rohit Sharma (Captain), Priyank Panchal, Mayank Agarwal, Virat Kohli, Shreyas Iyer, Hanuma Vihari, Shubhman Gill, Rishabh Pant (WK), KS Bharat (WK), Ravindra Jadeja, Jayant Yadav, R Ashwin, Kuldeep Yadav, Saurabh Kumar, Mohd. Siraj, Umesh Yadav, Mohd. Shami, Jasprit Bumrah (vice-captain).

India Playing XI 1st Test: Shreyas Iyer & Gill likely to form new Indian middle-order, Vihari to be benched- Follow Live Updates

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