Due to the injury of Shubman Gill, there is an atmosphere of panic in the Indian cricket team (India vs England) that went to England. All kinds of speculations are also being made about the replacement of Shubman Gill. While the team in England wants at least one of Prithvi Shaw and Devdutt Paddikal for the vacant reserve opener's spot, the pair are currently in Sri Lanka for the limited overs series starting on July 13. Practicing a lot. While it is learned that the Indian team manager who is currently in England has officially asked for two replacements for the injured Shubman Gill, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) selection committee has turned down the request.
Expressing displeasure over the situation, a BCCI official even questioned why such apprehensions were not expressed about the team when the 24-member team was being picked in front of skipper Virat Kohli. This BCCI official said in an interview to Times of India, "The team management should be clear about their approach. When it comes to the composition of the team, the selectors have always paid attention to the demands of the team management. The team was selected in the presence of Captain Virat Kohli. Rahul has been selected as the opener. If he had a change in plans, he should have clearly stated it.
There is news from the Indian team management in England that only Mayank Agarwal and Rohit Sharma are available to open the innings, while plans are being made to play KL Rahul in the middle order. Abhimanyu Easwaran, who was brought into the team as a back-up opener, is considered too raw to play against the likes of James Anderson, Stuart Broad, Jofra Archer and Co.
A BCCI official said, "Eshwaran has been with the team since the home series against England in February-March. The team management needs to clarify why they are not convinced about using Easwaran. Only then can a decision be taken whether there is a need to send replacements or not.
According to the selection committee, India still have four openers to choose from - Rohit Sharma, Mayank Agarwal, KL Rahul and Abhimanyu Easwaran. Whereas in case of crisis Hanuma Vihari can also be fielded as an opener. The fact is that 24 players were sent to England as part of the long tour of England. Now the BCCI is being told angry about the demand of more players from the Indian team.
"There are still four openers available in England and this was only possible because of the pandemic," the official said. Earlier Indian teams did not have this facility. He had to work with 15 players on long tours. This is where the selectors and the team management need to be on the same page and be clear about their plans. The selection of 24 players for each series has made the job of the selectors a lot easier. If they are not sure about the 24 players they have picked, it should be resolved soon.
The source further added, "There is no doubt that Hanuma Vihari will be ready to do whatever he is asked to do in a crisis. But he is more than happy to bat in the middle order.” According to a Times of India report, Indian team management and selection committee chief Chetan Sharma has not agreed on many things since the latter's appointment in January. Many claim that Chetan Sharma has personal preference towards certain players, while there is also a lack of communication between the two sides. As is clear by now, both Prithvi Shaw and Devdutt Padikkal will open the ODI series against Sri Lanka on July 13, while the Indian team in England will have to tweak their plans to bring more stability in all positions.