India might have won the first Test against Australia by a whopping margin of an innings and 132 runs but not all is well as far as the team selection goes. After what was another disappointing outing by opening batter KL Rahul, calls for him to be axed intensified, with former India pacer Venkatesh Prasad calling his selection nothing but ‘favouritism’. Now, former India batter Sunil Gavaskar has joined the debate, suggesting a little more time should be given to the Karnataka lad.
Prasad, in a series of tweets, had questioned Rahul’s selection, especially over an in-form player like Shubman Gill who is waiting on the bench. Even Gavaskar admitted that Gill could be given a chance, but not in the second Test which is to be held in Delhi.
“I feel the way he has batted in the last 1-2 years, he performed well. I feel he should be given one more chance. I’m sure he will be backed for the Test match in Delhi. After that you can give it a thought because you have an in-form batter ready to replace him, Shubman Gill,” Gavaskar said in a chat on India Today.
“He should definitely get a chance. Even when Vikram Rathour had come to the press conference he had reminded that he scored a century in South Africa. He does have the ability but he has been out of form lately…scoring against Australia is a big challenge in itself and getting those runs gives a morale boost. But he can been stuck here. However, based on his ability, he should get another chance,” he added.
“Rahul’s selection is not based on performance but favouritism. Has been consistently inconsistent and for someone who has been around for 8 years not converted potential into performances,” Prasad had written on Twitter.
Citing the veteran batter’s Test statistics — an average of 34.07 in 46 games — Prasad even questioned the team management’s decision to make him vice-captain. Instead, the retired pacer advocated for Ravichandran Ashwin to be made Rohit’s deputy.
“A Test average of 34 after 46 Tests and more than 8 years in international cricket is ordinary. Can’t think of many who have been given so many chances.”
“When there are so many waiting in the wings & in top form. Shubhman Gill is in sublime form, Sarfaraz (Khan) has been scoring tons in FC (first-class) cricket and many who deserve a chance ahead of Rahul,” he said, questioning the team’s persistence with Rahul.
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