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Australia Vs India: With Prithvi Shaw injured, possible opening options for Team India

India Vs Australia 1st Test : Prithvi Shaw ruled out, Who will open for India Now | वनइंडिया हिंदी
Australia Vs India: With Prithvi Shaw injured, possible opening options for Team India

New Delhi, Nov 29: India suffered a major setback as opener Prithvi Shaw was ruled out of the first Test against Australia after suffering an ankle injury on Friday (November 30).

The 19-year-old batting sensation hurt his left ankle while fielding during India's practice match against a Cricket Australia XI and was immediately taken to the hospital for scans. The BCCI later informed that the right-hander had a ligament tear ruling him out of the Adelaide Test, starting December 6.

India tour of Australia: Full Schedule | Twitterati concerned about Shaw

"Opening batsman Prithvi Shaw suffered a left ankle injury while attempting a catch at the boundary ropes in the tour game against CA XI at the Sydney Cricket Ground," a BCCI statement read.

"Shaw underwent scans this morning and the reports revealed a lateral ligament injury. Shaw will be unavailable for the first Test against Australia in Adelaide.

"He will undergo an intensive rehabilitation program to hasten the recovery and be available for selection at the earliest."

Shaw has previously been compared to the great Sachin Tendulkar, will miss the series opener, and that opens a can pandora's box for the Indian team management. The youngster was considered a certainty to open the Indian innings alongside either KL Rahul or Murali Vijay.

Shaw who became the youngest Indian to slam a century on his Test debut with his ton against West Indies last month will be badly missed. In two Tests against the Windies, he scored 237 runs at an average of 118.50. The Mumbai-lad also top-scored for India in the first innings against the Cricket Australia XI, making 66.

Here are the possible opening options for India in the upcoming first Test:

KL Rahul:

KL Rahul:

The Karnataka batsman was the frontrunner as the opening partner alongside in-form Prithvi Shaw. The right-handed batsman whose position as an opener was under doubt until last night has certainly emerged as a first-choice opener.

Rahul was the only prominent Indian batsman to miss out on a significant knock in the practice game against Cricket Australia XI. In an innings in which five India batsmen struck the fifties, Lokesh Rahul was dismissed for a paltry 3. This forced India's assistant coach Sanjay Bangar say the Karnataka batsman needs to show some responsibility.

In Shaw's absence, Rahul - who scored a fine ton against England in the final Test - will be opening India's innings in Adelaide. However, it remains to be seen who partners Rahul as the opener.

Murali Vijay:

Murali Vijay:

The senior Tamil Nadu batsman was recalled into the side as a backup opener but Shaw's injury has opened the gates for Murali Vijay. The right-handed batsman is now considered the first choice-batting partner for KL Rahul for the opening Test.

The seasoned campaigner was backed by former India captain Sunil Gavaskar to open the innings along with Shaw. And in the absence of Shaw, he's just climbed ahead in the pecking order but he didn't get a chance to warm-up in the practice game.

However, Vijay slammed ton on the opening day of the Gabba Test, when India toured Down Under last time, and his experience of playing the county cricket recently might just come in his favour.

Rohit Sharma:

Rohit Sharma:

The Mumbaikar who opens the innings for India against white ball has already stated that he's ready to bat at any position in the Tests. He could be tested for the opening slot along with Lokesh Rahul.

Earlier, Sunil Gavaskar had claimed Rohit as a good option for No. 3 but that would be injustice with Cheteshwar Pujara.

Playing Rohit at No. 6 might be injustice with his batting talent as well. It will be interesting to see if captain Kohli is bold enough to ask Rohit to open the innings in Adelaide.

Parthiv Patel:

Parthiv Patel:

The left-handed wicketkeeper-batsman could also be utilised as an opening partner to KL Rahul if the team management isn't inclined towards playing out-of-form Murali Vijay and draft in Shikhar Dhawan.

Parthiv - who is a better-equipped wicketkeeper - might also be asked to perform the duties of the gloveman and Rishabh Pant could be played as a full-fledged batsman. The senior Gujarat cricketer has also be recalled to the side as a backup wicketkeeper but the turn of events and Pant's lacklustre show behind the stumps might bolster his chances of getting a spot in the playing eleven.

Shikhar Dhawan:

Shikhar Dhawan:

The left-handed batsman is not a part of the current Indian Test squad for the Test series but considering the fact that he's present in the country and his good form during in the limited-overs' format, Virat Kohli might be tempted to play him.

The Australian pitches and bowlers suit Dhawan's style of play but his consistently poor form in the longer-format in 2018 is a concern.

The fact that Dhawan offers a left-and-right-hand combination in the opening, might also come in his favour.

However, it remains to be seen if he's drafted in the Test squad as Shaw's replacement or not. At the moment, Dhawan is present in Australia with his family.

Mayank Agarwal:

Mayank Agarwal:

Shaw's injury could be a blessing in disguise for the Karnataka batsman - who is being consistently overlooked by the selectors.

Agarwal is presently touring New Zealand playing for India A and gets lucky then the uncapped player might earn India call-up and even get his maiden Test cap.

Agarwal has been knocking the doors of the Indian Test team for quite some time but has been slightly unlucky on that front.

He plays an aggressive brand of cricket and has been in arich vein of form on India A tours might just help him draw team management's attention.

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    Story first published: Friday, November 30, 2018, 13:13 [IST]
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