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Cheteshwar Pujara to open innings with Shubman Gill in Rohit Sharma's absence in Edgbaston Test: Reports

Birmingham, June 30: India's regular captain Rohit Sharma faces a race against time to recover from the Covid-19 and get himself included in the playing eleven for the upcoming Birmingham Test, starting July 1.

Rohit tested positive for the deadly pandemic last week and was immediately sent into isolation. On Wednesday (June 29), reports claimed that the Mumbaikar is set to miss out after he didn't appear in the practice session in Edgbaston.

Later, India coach Rahul Dravid in a press conference stated the 33-year-old is yet to get ruled out of the match but will have to return negative in two Covid-19 tests.

"Rohit is being monitored by the medical team. He is not yet ruled out. Obviously, he needs to get the negative tests before being available. So, he will have a test tonight and one maybe tomorrow morning as well and then we will see," Dravid said in a virtual press meet on June 29.

Dravid further added that the decision to include Rohit will be taken by the medical team and that he hasn't been able to meet the skipper since he has been in insolation.

"It's up to the medical team and the sports science team to decide. I haven't had a chance to see him since he is in quarantine and isolation. We will keep monitoring the situation," Dravid said.

Meanwhile, reports in the media on Thursday (June 30) claim that senior batter Cheteshwar Pujara might be asked to open the innings alongside Shubman Gill in Rohit's absence. Pujara - who bats at number three - might be asked by the team management to take up the responsibility of blunting the ball and face England's quality swing bowling attack.

Team India has, however, included Mayank Agarwal - who was put on standby as an opener ahead of the series and the Karnataka cricketer has joined the Test squad in England. Shubman Gill is the only recognised opener for India after Rohit tested positive.

Speculations were rife that either Pujara or Hanuma Vihari could be asked to open the innings in case the team management doesn't feel including Agarwal.

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Story first published: Thursday, June 30, 2022, 16:28 [IST]
Other articles published on Jun 30, 2022