The Indian side has gone to Australia with surplus openers in their ranks. Mayank Agarwal, Shubman Gill, KL Rahul, and Prithvi Shaw are the top order specialists. Rohit Sharma is also going to join the team soon. Moreover, this has created a massive problem for the side as they don't have anyone to bat at No. 6 positions.
After the conclusion of the T20 series, the focus now shifts towards the Border-Gavaskar Trophy. Considering the pitches in Australia, teams mostly go with four blue-chip bowlers, one wicket-keeper, and six ace batsmen. The No. 6 batsmen is the one who forms the bridge between the top and bottom order.
In 2018, it was Rohit Sharma or Hanuma Vihari who claimed the responsibility to bat at that position. Both the batsman performed well. Now as the Indian skipper is set to leave after the first Test, Rahane is expected to take his position at No. 4. This will leave Vihari to fill the spot behind him. Thus, someone from the opening order will have to bat down the order.
After the exit of Hardik Pandya, it leaves the race for the Numbers 6 slot totally open. Former India pacer Ajit Agarkar feels that Gill should be the one filling the slot.
Shubman Gill's stats and records as an opening batsman
The 21-year-old is a designated opener. In 22 First-Class games, Gill has mostly played at the top order. Gill is currently a part of the warm-up games in Australia before the Tests begin on December 17. In all the three innings, the batsman has scored 29, 43, and 65 respectively. He is the highest among all the openers.
Shubman Gill's back-foot dominated technique is perfect for Australian conditions. However, Shaw's poor performance and KL Rahul's experience in the middle-order might allow Gill to open alongside Agarwal.
Despite that, Agarkar reckoned that Gill was the best suit for the middle-order. Agarkar agreed that Gill has found success in Ranji cricket as an opening batsman for Punjab. He also added that he would be much better in the lower middle-order.
All the squad debates are likely to end on Thursday, December 17. The Indian team will play their first overseas Day-Night Test against Australia in Adelaide Oval.