Indian opener Shubman Gill could miss the entire five-Test series against England owing to an undisclosed internal injury, which might lead to standby Abhimanyu Easwaran making the main squad. However, if it was up to Wasim Jaffer, he would give his vote to Mayank Agarwal.
Gill, one of the heroes of the Australia tour earlier this year, has not been in great form having failed to score a fifty in four successive Test matches and was troubled by the seam and swing against New Zealand in World Test Championship final.
It is believed that Gill has either sustained a calf muscle injury or hamstring tear which could take considerable time to heal. It is not clear how and when he picked up the injury. As of now, he is supposed to be in England where physio Nitin Patel and strength and conditioning coach Sohum Desai will monitor his progress.
Wasim Jaffer on Gill:
Former Indian batsman Wasim Jaffer reckons Agarwal is a much better fit and should get the preference over KL Rahul. Mayank may have had a dull outing in Australia, but Jaffer believes the Karnataka lad will grab the opportunity in England.
Agarwal was dropped for the third Test against Australia as the management decided to bring in Gill at the top. Jaffer also said that Rahul could be accommodated in the middle-order. Here is what the former cricketer had say –
“It will be a very big opportunity for Mayank Agarwal and KL Rahul with Mayank being my first preference. He has had an excellent career so far. It is a very big series of five Test matches that can make or break a cricketer’s career. I feel KL Rahul can also fit somewhere in the middle-order if not as an opener.”
Jaffer, the highest run-scorer in Ranji Trophy cricket, also spoke about Gill’s injury and said that it’ll be a “big” blow for the youngster, given the fact that a player is judged by his performances in overseas conditions.
“It will be a big blow for India as well as Shubman Gill because as a youngster, you look forward to this kind of series to make a name for yourself. Considering that we judge a player by their overseas performance, it will be a setback for him to miss the first couple of games.”
Gill began his career in blazing fashion in the Test series against Australia before runs dried up against England at home and in the IPL. Fingers have been pointed at Gill’s technique even though he did get a start in the first innings of the WTC final. And especially now, with India seeking a Test series win in England after 14 years, Jaffer feels the blow has come at the wrong time for India and Gill alike.
“It will be a very important series for India because we haven’t won any series in England since 2007-08 though we have come close. Although Shubman Gill’s injury will be a big blow, the players will look to step up and deliver.”– Jaffer added
Since it’s a five-Test series, there could be a slim outside chance that Gill might make a comeback in the final Test of the series. It is still not clear whether Gill’s condition warrants surgery ahead of the series starting August 4. Currently, the Indian cricket team is currently on a 20-day break ahead of the start of the Test series against England, which will also kick off the second World Test Championship.