Team India’s opening combination has looked in a complete muddle in the ongoing test series against Australia, which currently stands at 1-1. The opening duo of KL Rahul and Murali Vijay have managed partnerships of 3, 63, 6 and 0 in four innings in the test series so far and have failed to survive the first hour in each of the four occasions. As a result, the middle order was left with too much of the scoring both in Adelaide and in Perth. The bowlers have been bowling really well and have taken all 20 wickets in both the test matches but the batsmen certainly haven’t been upto their task.
Prithvi Shaw, who was supposed to be India’s first choice for the opening slot has been ruled out of the test series with an ankle injury sustained during the warm up match against Cricket Australia XI in Sydney. The 19 year old could have been the perfect candidate to replace either Vijay or Rahul at the top of the order for the third test at Melbourne. Mayank Agarwal has been called in as replacement for the injured Shaw for the remaining two test matches against Australia.
Indian opener Shikhar Dhawan, who has been in exceptional touch in limited over cricket over the last year or so, has struggled to find form as far as the red ball format is concerned. Dhawan had a poor outing in England and South Africa earlier this year and was subsequently dropped for the two match test series against West Indies at home. Despite getting off to an impressive start on a number of occasions in overseas tests, the left hander hasn’t quite been able to capitalize on them which saw him getting dropped from the 18 man squad for the ongoing test series against Australia as well.
The 33 year old, however, was recently spotted in the Indian team hotel and was also seen carrying his kitbag as per reports in The Mumbai Mirror. Dhawan, who was a part of the three match T20I series against Australia in November, has stayed back with his family in Melbourne for the break ahead of the three match ODI series. Although there has not yet been any official confirmation of him joining the squad any sooner, it won’t be a surprise given the current state of the Indian top order.