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Australia Vs India: Rohit Sharma can be a good option at No.3, feels Sunil Gavaskar

New Delhi, Nov 29: Former India captain and batting great Sunil Gavaskar believes Rohit Sharma could be a good option at number three for India in the upcoming Test series against Australia.

In an interview with India Today, the former India opener said the Mumbaikar - who received a Test call-up after getting dropped from the side since South Africa tour - must be giving selectors some headache about his batting order.

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"He is certainly giving the selection committee some headache unless he replaces either Cheteshwar Pujara or Ajinkya Rahane. If you are going to take a chance and say let's have Rohit Sharma at 3...otherwise I don't know where he fits in," Gavaskar, who has slammed five Test centuries on the Australian soil, said.

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Gavaskar has also praised the Indian bowlers and feels their tremendous form could be the key to India first Test series win Down Under.

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"India have a tremendous bowling attack and that gives us our greatest hope of beating Australia this time - England and South Africa, they took plenty of wickets. Our bowlers are going to be the ones who are going to win us the matches...350 runs are what I would want the Indian batsmen to do - that gives our bowlers the chance to wrap up things for us," Gavaskar added further.

The former captain has backed Murali Vijay as India's first-choice opener along with Prithvi Shaw. Gavaskar has opined Vijay should be given preference over KL Rahul - who could only score 3 in the warm-up game against Cricket Australia XI on Thursday.

"I want India to go in with six batsmen. For the first couple of matches, India's batting always needs some back-up. Whether it is Murali Vijay or KL Rahul, that is going to be a tricky thing. I will pick Vijay because of his greater experience and the way he played in Australia in 2014...he got a hundred at the Gabba - he may get in just ahead of KL Rahul.

Rohit, on the other hand, scored 40 in the warm-up game while batting in the lower middle-order against CA XI.

"I will go in with both spinners - Kuldeep and Ashwin...Pant at six. Ashwin at 7. Clearly, Pant is in form - six batsmen... Ashwin with his batting capabilities, Bhuvneshwar at 8. Kuldeep, Shami, Bumrah."

Gavaskar also cautioned the Indians to not take their opponents lightly for the Tim Paine-led side have the home advantage in their favour, despite looking depleted in their batting department.

"I think perhaps the 1977-78 team took a lot of beating because they lost a majority of their players. While in this team only three players are not available...Cameron Bancroft, Smith and Warner because of bans. The Australian batting has been affected for this series but back then, the Aussies suffered in every department but we still did not win," he said.

The first Test between India and Australia starts December 6 at Adelaide Oval.

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Story first published: Thursday, November 29, 2018, 17:42 [IST]
Other articles published on Nov 29, 2018