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Border-Gavaskar Trophy: Selection Headache For Rohit Sharma Ahead Of IND Vs AUS First Test

India open their Border-Gavaskar Trophy campaign with the first Test against Australia in Nagpur on Thursday.

Updated: February 8, 2023 4:30 PM IST

By Sports Desk | Edited by Koushik Paul

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India captain Rohit Sharma speaks to media ahead of 1st Test against Australia. (Image: AP)

Nagpur: Rohit Sharma will have a selection headache ahead of the first Test against Australia in the Border Gavaskar Trophy starting on Thursday with options aplenty. However, the Indian captain decided to keep mum over his preferred line-up in the opening Test in Nagpur.

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While Shubman Gill has been in terrific form in the past few months, Suryakumar Yadav’s ability to tame the best of the bowlers is not to be completely written off. According to Rohit, the team management will have to decide the playing XI at each venue based on the pitch.

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“Tomorrow 9 o’ clock at toss,” Rohit answered in the pre-match press conference when asked about his team combination. “It’s going to be a tough one. We know lot of guys are in good form, that’s a good sign for the team,” Rohit said.

“You have selection issues and it says a lot about the guys performing. That’s quite crucial from team’s perspective, what we have to do is go to each venue, see the pitch and pick the best eleven.

“We have been doing that in past and we will be doing that going forward,” the skipper made it clear. Message to the boys is very clear. We are ready to play horses for courses. Whichever pitch, whoever we need, we have to bring them in.

As simple as that. That is something we have spoken to the guys. We will have to assess conditions and see who are the right guys, so we are quite open with all options,” he was more intent on hammering home the point,” added the Indian opener.

Questions went like bullets from the media in an attempt to get some glimpse of what the playing XI would be on Thursday, but the Indian captain played with a straight bat stating, ‘I will not give you guys anything today’ along with a smile.

On both Gill and Suryakumar, Rohit said, “They bring different things to the table for us. Gill we all know has been in supreme form in last three to four months. Lot of big hundreds as well. Surya has shown in T20s what he is capable of and what sort of game he can bring to Test cricket as well.

“Both are quality options for us and we haven’t yet decided who will play among the two guys, keep in mind all aspects of the game.” The 34-year-old also kept suspense whether he would prefer KS Bharath over Ishan Kishan.

“You need to take the brave call. Rishabh was important how he batted for us. We have guys who can do that job in the middle-order. You need orthodox cricket to be played as well, we have solid top order and all batters finding ways to score and hopefully, tomorrow we start the game , we can achieve those things,” he added.

Rohit was also praise for all four spinners in Kuldeep Yadav, Axar Patel, Ravindra Jadeja and Ravichandran Ashwin. “All four are quality and Jadeja and Ashwin have played a lot together. Speaking of Axar and Kuldeep, I think whenever they have gotten an opportunity, they have put batters under pressure.

“The last series we played against England, Axar got a lot of wickets (27 wickets), and Kuldeep when he played against Bangladesh, he got five wickets there. To have all 4 available is a great sign and three of them are quality all-rounders.

“Kuldeep also scored crucial runs for us in Bangladesh, those who can do multiple things for us gives us great options and gives us depth. So all four available is a positive sign,” he added.

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Published Date: February 8, 2023 4:05 PM IST

Updated Date: February 8, 2023 4:30 PM IST