India Tour of England: Team India likely to send SOS to Prithvi Shaw as Shubman Gill set to return home

India tour of England: Selectors deny Virat Kohli & Co's request to send Prithvi Shaw & Devdutt Padikkal to UK as Shubman Gill’s replacement
India Tour of England: Virat Kohli's Team India likely to send SOS to Prithvi Shaw as Shubman Gill set to return home;

India Tour of England – SOS to Prithvi Shaw as Shubman Gill to return home – Team India management is set to bid goodbye to opener Shubman Gill, who has suffered a stress fracture on his left shin. As the injury is expected to keep him sidelined for at least six to eight weeks, the Virat Kohli led Team India will need an additional opener and Prithvi Shaw has suddenly featured in their plans. The Ravi Shastri-coached side in England is set to send Shaw an SOS and fly him over from India tour of Sri Lanka as soon as possible.

India Tour of England – SOS to Prithvi Shaw? While a stress fracture takes 8-12 weeks to recover from, in Shubman Gill’s case, team management believes it would be shorter. He will be sent home with two shin splints for medial tibial stress syndrome and will need to rest and recover, meaning he will miss out on the entire five-match Test series against England. That leaves Virat Kohli’s Team India with only one opener option in Mayank Agarwal with an inexperienced Abhimanyu Easwaran in the squad as standby.

Also Read: India Tour of England: ECB agrees to BCCI’s wish, Virat Kohli’s Team India to play warm-up game from July 20

India Tour of England: However, as per a TOI report, the team management is reluctant to go with just two openers in such a long series and wants Prithvi Shaw to be flown in and complete mandatory quarantine protocols and join the team ahead of the 1st Test on August 4. However, the selectors, who are in Mumbai for administrative work, are yet to take a call regarding Prithvi Shaw.

“Here is a batsman in absolute form right now, playing an inconsequential series (in Sri Lanka) whereas he can be in England and the team will have a cushion to fall back on. It’s been five days now and the selectors haven’t even blinked yet,” sources told TOI.

Although Abhimanyu Easwaran was named to the squad, he is yet to earn the team management’s trust due to lack of matches. He last played in the Vijay Hazare Trophy in March and his last red-ball cricket was back in February 2020, where he didn’t score as many runs. It was the 2018-19 season where he shined. Besides, not playing in the IPL has also worked against him as he lacks international experience. Prithvi Shaw ticks all the boxes.

India Tour of England: Why Prithvi Shaw is the No 1 choice after Mayank Agarwal?

  • The sheer number of runs (827) Shaw scored in the Vijay Hazare Trophy forced everyone to take notice since being dropped from the Australia tour.
  • In VJT, he scored 827 runs at an average of 165.40 including 3 centuries one double century and a half-century in eight innings.
  • Prithvi Shaw worked on his technique and it worked in the IPL 2021 too.
  • In eight matches, Shaw scored 308 runs at an average of 38.50 and a strike rate of 166.48, turning out to be his best IPL season so far.
  • Has international experience and a Test hundred — something that Easwaran lacks.

Also Read: India Tour of England: Brad Hogg suggests, ‘Prithvi Shaw should replace Cheteshwar Pujara in England Tests’

“As against having to fall back on a batsman (Easwaran) who last did his bit in the First-Class circuit more than two seasons ago and not many have seen much of lately, isn’t it more sensible to have a batsman (Prithvi) who’s in form and the elements to his batting well-documented already? The team knows Prithvi, understands Prithvi. If they think he should be in England, then there’s no reason why the BCCI should not be sending him,” say those in the know.

India Tour of England: Even Brad Hogg, former Australia spinner, has batted for Prithvi Shaw in the Test squad for England but in a different role. He believes in place of out of form Chetshwar Pujara, Shaw will fit right into the No 3 slot with Mayank Agarwal and Rohit Sharma opening.

“If anyone was going to replace Pujara it would be Prithvi Shaw. Feel he is more suited there than the opening. Has a lot of talent and long future. He is not in the tour group but a wild card choice,” Hogg said in a response to a fan.