Predicting India's playing XI for the Test against England if Rohit Sharma is unavailable
A couple of days ago, news came out that Rohit Sharma had tested positive for COVID-19. Since KL Rahul has already been ruled out, Team India might struggle with its opening combination. On that note, in this article, we predict India's playing XI for the Test against England if Rohit Sharma is unavailable.
Team India does have sufficient backup to fill Rohit's spot if the captain does not recover in time. While Mayank Agarwal has already been added as the cover, there are also a few other players who can go up the order. We take a look at the likely XI for the Test, which will take place at Edgbaston from July 1st.
Openers: Shubman Gill and Cheteshwar Pujara
Shubman Gill and Cheteshwar Pujara might be the openers in India's playing XI for the Test against England if Rohit Sharma is unavailable. With both KL Rahul and Rohit, not present, Shubman Gill is certain to be one of the openers. He has had a decent career so far and will be the senior opener. Pujara might be India's best option to replace Rohit as the opener. He has done well in County Championship and has anyways opened before for the squad.
Middle-Order: Hanuma Vihari, Virat Kohli, Rishabh Pant (WK) and Shreyas Iyer
Since Hanuma Vihari is seen as India's next No.3, it is best that he plays this role. While he has a confirmed spot, so does Virat Kohli, who appeared to be in good touch in the practice game. While Pant selects himself, Shreyas Iyer is likely to play in the lower middle order. It will be a challenge for Iyer, who has notable weaknesses against pace bowling. India does not have too many options and hence, Iyer will be given a chance.
All-Rounders: Ravindra Jadeja
Ravindra Jadeja will be the all-rounder in India's playing XI for the Test against England if Rohit Sharma is unavailable. R Ashwin is unlikely to be selected because one spinner seems sufficient in England. Jaddu is also useful with the bat in overseas conditions. Hence, he is an automatic selection to this XI.
Bowlers: Shardul Thakur, Mohammed Shami, Jasprit Bumrah (C) and Mohammed Siraj
Although India might be tempted to give Prasidh Krishna his debut, the management in all likelihood will continue with the core of the pace attack that did well in Australia and then in England last year. Umesh Yadav is also an option but since he offers decent value with the bat, Thakur might get the nod. In Rohit's absence, India might give the captaincy to Jasprit Bumrah. He has been vice-captain recently and the progression will be natural for the pacer.