“Gill himself wants to bat at No. 3, he had a chat with Rahul bhai”

Team India captain Rohit Sharma has confirmed that Shubman Gill will bat at No. 3 in the first Test against West Indies, which begins in Dominica on Wednesday, July 12. The arrangement means that opener Yashasvi Jaiswal will be handed his Test debut – the same was also confirmed by Rohit.

In KL Rahul’s absence, Gill had been opening the innings with Rohit and had tasted success as well. However, the Indian captain has revealed that the batter himself approached head coach Rahul Dravid and requested that he be sent into bat at the one-down position.

Cheteshwar Pujara, who had been doing the job for India for many years at the pivotal No. 3 position, has not been picked for the West Indies tour.

At a press conference ahead of the first Test, Rohit opened up on the team combination and confirmed:

“Regarding batting positions, Gill will bat at No. 3, because Gill himself wants to bat at No. 3. He had a chat with Rahul bhai [Dravid] and told him that, ‘I have played all my cricket at No. 3 and 4. I think I can do better for the team if I bat at No. 3.”

The Indian captain asserted that the arrangement works out well since the visitors can have a left-right opening combination in Rohit-Jaiswal.

“This is good for us as well since we get a left-right opening combination. Hopefully, this works long-time as we have been desperate for a left-hander for a long time. We have got one and let’s hope that he [Jaiswal] performs well for the team and can make that spot his own,” Rohit said.

Regarding the bowling combination, Rohit admitted that they are likely to play two spinners.

“Looking at the wicket, it seems we might play two spinners and three seamers. During the last Test match played here in 2017, lot of wickets were taken by spinners. Having trained here for few days, we felt there is a little bit of bounce,” he added.

In Mohammed Shami’s absence, Mohammed Siraj will be leading the Indian pace attack in the Tests.

“Ruturaj has got all the potential to be successful in red-ball cricket” – Rohit Sharma

India have picked quite a few youngsters in the batting department for the West Indies Tests. Rohit said in this regard that the names chosen are quite exciting for Indian cricket moving forward.

Sharing his thoughts on the likes of Ruturaj Gaikwad, Jaiswal, and Gill, he opined:

“They have put hard yards in domestic cricket and they have been rewarded for it. All these guys were on the radar. I am glad that they could make it. Jaiswal looks very promising, so do Ruturaj and Gill. Gill, obviously, has been playing good cricket for a year now. I hope he continues his good form and Ruturaj as well has got all the potential to be successful in red-ball cricket. He’s shown us in T20 cricket, what he can do.”

Rohit concluded:

“I am sure he is also looking forward to getting more and more runs for Indian team.”

While Jaiswal is set to make his Test debut, Gaikwad has featured in one ODI and nine T20Is.

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Edited by Renin Wilben Albert


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