KL Rahul & Mayank Agarwal will open the batting in the upcoming test series against South Africa confirms India’s Test captain Virat Kohli. Shubman Gill’s unavailability in the test series due to an injury strengthens Mayank Agarwal’s position in the opening slot of the test series.
Mayank Agarwal displayed a scintillating performance during the Mumbai test of the IND vs NZ 2021 test series. Mayank gleamed with the bat by scoring a ton in teh first innings & a half-century in the second innings of the IND vs NZ 2021 final test. Looking at Mayank’s form, Virat Kohli said that it would be a good opportunity for the prolific opener to strengthen his position in India’s Test squad & help India to get off to an ideal start in the crucial South Africa tests.
“We will miss Rohit’s abilities a lot. He has proven in England that he has really worked his Test game out. His opening partnership with KL was very important for us to play in the series. Obviously, with his experience and skills, we will miss his qualities. But having said that, it’s an opportunity for someone like Mayank and KL to step up and solidify that start for us that we got in the last series,” Test captain Virat Kohli said at the pre-departure virtual press conference on Wednesday.
Rohit Sharma’s absence could prove expensive in upcoming South Africa tests as Rohit’s has been India’s No 1 batsman in the longest format in 2021. With 906 runs in 21 innings and an average of 47.68, he has been India’s go-to run-getter in Tests. He is followed by Rishabh Pant (706) and Cheteshwar Pujara (686). Rohit has time & again proved his mettle in test format which is evident from his exemplary performance in the recently concluded IND vs NZ test series.
Meanwhile, Virat Kohli has specified the importance of winning the test series in South Africa. India lost their last test series against South Africa by a 1-2 score & didn’t win even a single test series in South Africa since 1992.
“South Africa presents a different kind of challenge. The wickets have a lot of pace and bounce and you have to be at your absolute best to perform there and get runs — get difficult runs. It’s something we’ve tried to do as a team but probably left ourselves a bit too much to do at certain times. So, I think we’re well-placed in terms of experience, belief, and confidence that this time around we can do something special and get the results we want as a team and overcome conditions to go and win a series,” Virat Kohli concluded.