The lines have drawn for the much-anticipated Test series between the two heavyweights of world cricket – India and England. All the permutations and combinations have been looked upon seriously as we slowly inch towards the start of the first Test on August 1 in Birmingham. A lot of discussions and debate about the right team combination for the series opener is already making the news.

India, who otherwise boast off a settled top-order in their limited-overs, look a little puzzled when it comes to choosing the correct opening combination in cricket’s most traditional format. The team management will have to put their thinking cap on as they have to decide between Murali Vijay, Shikhar Dhawan and KL Rahul as India’s first-choice opening combination in whites.

Former Indian skipper and an astute reader of the game – Sourav Ganguly has made the job easier for the Indian team as he has announced his verdict on India’s best opening combination for the five-match Test rubber versus England.

Ganguly, who was an opening batsman himself, said that he chose Murali Vijay and KL Rahul as the pair to open the Indian innings. On leaving Dhawan out, Dada said the left-hander is a quality prospect and a good limited-overs player but his performance in overseas Test is still a point of concern for the visitors.

“I would go with Murali Vijay and KL Rahul as openers in the Test series. Shikhar Dhawan is a good ODI player, and he was in decent touch during the ODI series as well. However, when he opens in Test cricket in overseas conditions, he doesn’t have a good record, be it South Africa, England or Australia,” Ganguly told IndiaTV.

However, the 46-year old heaped praise on Dhawan and said that the southpaw has a good record in India and deserves all the applause.

“In India, he scores hundred in Test cricket. Even in the last match against Afghanistan, he scored a hundred before Lunch and became the first Indian player to do so. So, it will be interesting to see the team management’s decision on this,” Ganguly added.

In the ongoing practice match against Essex, both Vijay (53 ff 113 balls) and Rahul (58 off 92 balls) scored half-centuries after the visitors opted to bat after winning the toss. Whereas, Dhawan was dismissed for a first ball duck.