Former Indian selector Jatin Paranjpe feels Shubman Gill should be given an opportunity to bat in the middle-order during the upcoming two-match Test series against New Zealand. Paranjpe feels it won’t make much difference to drop a specialist opener down the order in the Indian conditions.
New Zealand and India will play in a two-match Test series starting from November 25 in Kanpur before the caravan moves to Mumbai where the second Test will be played from December 3.
Indian skipper Virat Kohli is rested from the first Test and Ajinkya Rahane will don the captain’s armband in his absence.
Jatin Paranjpe feels KL Rahul and Mayank Agarwal should open while Shubman Gill can be tested in the middle-order in Virat Kohli’s absence.
“I am always a believer that rigidity in team selection doesn’t help. I actually feel that playing Shubman as a middle-order batter will help the team. A certain amount of flexibility always helps,” Paranjape told PTI.
It is understood that the new selection committee under Chetan Sharma and the current team management feels that they need at least one player in that middle-order apart from Kohli, who can take the attack back to the opposition camp.
Paranjape feels that a specialist opener will not make much of a difference in Indian conditions where there won’t be much seam and swing on offer after a certain period of time.
“I don’t think in India, it’s going to make a lot of difference because overseas it’s more of a specialised role opener or middle-order. If they use Shubman in the middle-order, I believe it will work as the SG ball will lose its shine pretty quickly.
“In fact, if you see, KL Rahul had batted in the middle-order and had some success early in his career. Shubman can replicate that,” Paranjape explained.
Shreyas Iyer is in the Test squad as a specialist middle-order batter but Paranjpe feels Iyer will have to wait for his Test debut but it can happen any time soon.
“Look sooner or later, Cheteshwar and Ajju (Rahane) won’t be playing. So, two out of three between Vihari, Shubman and Shreyas will grab those middle-order slots.
“Even if, Shreyas doesn’t get an opportunity in this series, I won’t be very disheartened as his time will certainly come,” Paranjape added.