Former India spinner Harbhajan Singh has chosen his preferred Indian XI for the first Test against the West Indies. All-rounders Shardul Thakur and Axar Patel failed to get a place. The first Test of the two-match series will take place in Roseau on Wednesday, July 12. It will be India’s first game since their loss in the World Test Championship final and they will hope to begin their new cycle on a winning note as well.
In a video shared on his YouTube channel, Harbhajan Singh said: “According to me, Rohit Sharma and Shubman Gill should open and Yashasvi Jaiswal should play at No. 3. A lot of people were saying that Yashasvi should be made to open and Shubman should be played down the order – I don’t think so because Shubman has made it his own place.”
He continued: “He (Gill) has got that position based on his performance. So his position should not be touched. I will play Yashasvi at No. 3. I hope he makes his debut and scores a lot of runs. He is a very good player. After that, Virat Kohli will play at No. 4 and Ajinkya Rahane will play at No. 5.”
However, Virat Kohli has scored 463 runs which came at a below-par average of 35.61 in the nine Tests so far he has played in the West Indies. On the other hand, Rahane has an exceptional record in the Caribbean, having scored 514 runs at an average of 102.80 in six Tests as well. Meanwhile, the veteran chose Jaydev Unadkat along with the expected trio of Ravindra Jadeja, Ravichandran Ashwin and Mohammed Siraj in the bowling department as well.
“Ravindra Jadeja at No. 6, R Ashwin or KS Bharat at No. 7. If Ashwin bats at No. 7, then KS Bharat at No. 8. Then I will see Mohammed Siraj at No. 9. Along with him, I will see Jaydev Unadkat because he has been performing in domestic cricket for a long time and he hasn’t got many opportunities. So I hope he gets an opportunity to play there and he shows what he can do. So I will keep Unadkat in the team and at No. 11, I will keep Mukesh Kumar. He has also performed extremely well in the Ranji Trophy due to which he has got a chance to show his prowess in the Indian team,” he concluded.
Harbhajan Singh’s Indian XI for the 1st Test: Rohit Sharma, Shubman Gill, Yashasvi Jaiswal, Virat Kohli, Ajinkya Rahane, Ravindra Jadeja, Ravichandran Ashwin, Srikar Bharat, Mohammed Siraj, Jaydev Unadkat, Mukesh Kumar