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Ravi Shastri speaks up on the opening dilemma ahead of the first Test


Indian Team management will face a tough ask ahead of the first test of New Zealand tour of India. With regular opener Rohit Sharma ruled out owing to an injury, the management has to pick either of Prithvi Shaw and Shubman Gill to partner Mayank Agarwal at the top. Rohit Sharma suffered a hamstring injury while going for a run in the 5th T20I at Mount Maunganui.

Both Prithvi Shaw and Shubman Gill are extremely talented and deserve a go at the top of the order. While Prithvi Shaw hit a century in his test debut (albeit a long time ago) to claim the spot, Shubhman Gill has been in red hot form in recently concluded unofficial test series between India A and New Zealand A.  Speaking about the duo, Indian Coach Ravi Shastri quipped, ““Both are supremely exciting talents. Regardless of who gets into the XI in Wellington, the fact of the matter is they’re here, part of India’s national squad, and from here on they should know that the sky remains the limit.

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“They’re all from the same school, you know. They love facing the new ball, enjoy a challenge. Rohit is unfortunately out (with a calf muscle injury) so that puts Shubman and Prithvi in contention to open with Mayank. That competition is necessary and that’s what makes a bunch of 15 look strong and stable,” added the Indian Coach.

Though Ravi Shastri did not make clear that who is going to open with Mayank in the first test. He did stress the fact that the recent debacle in ODI series will not deter their confidence and they will look to maintain the Image of No. 1 Test Side in the world.

“We need 100 points to be in contention to play at Lord’s (in the World Test Championship final). Two overseas wins out of six Tests will keep us in good stead. We play six Tests overseas this year (two in NZ and four in Australia). So, that’s one objective. The other is to play like the world’s No. 1 Test team – because that’s what this team believes in more than anything else. On the Test front, that’s what we’re looking at, said Shastri putting the priorities in order.

The first Test will be played from February 21 to 25 at Basin Reserve, Wellington. Both teams will give their all in the first game, as India will look to regain the lost momentum after T20 series and on the other hand, New Zealand will look to continue with the momentum they got in ODI series. The second Test will be played at Hagley Oval in Christchurch from February 29.



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