‘He has improved himself, has to be the best person to open’: Butt names batsman who can replace Agarwal in first Test | Cricket


Team India on Monday dealt with an injury blow as Mayank Agarwal suffered a concussion in the nets and got ruled out of the Nottingham Test, which begins on Wednesday. Since Shubman Gill is already out with a shin injury, there remain just two contenders to feature in the playing XI as openers – KL Rahul and Rohit Sharma, unless the Indian think tank decides to include standby player Abhimanyu Easwaran.

Meanwhile, several cricket experts have backed the selection of Rahul, who played his last Test in 2019 against the West Indies. Sunil Gavaskar has stated that Team India should pick the Karnataka batter as an opener while former Pakistan skipper Salman Butt has agreed with the Indian batting legend’s opinion.

Speaking in his latest YouTube video, Butt said that Rahul is the best option available for India to field as an opening partner for Rohit in the opening Test.

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“Rahul looks like a transformed cricketer. He has improved himself a lot and is a more mature cricketer now. He has definitely shown improvement. As Sunil Gavaskar rightly pointed out, Rahul scored a hundred in the three-day game against County Select XI,” Butt said.

“During the last Test of India’s previous tour in 2018 as well, he had notched up a hundred. So, keeping all these points in mind and looking at his current form, Rahul has to be the best person to open, after Mayank getting injured and Shubman Gill being ruled out. He has done a great job in one-day matches. So, he will have to best mindset to open,” he added.

Rahul has been out of action ever since he underwent appendicitis surgery during IPL 2021. He then featured in India’s practice match against a Select County XI and scored a hundred.

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Meanwhile, India haven’t revealed their Playing XI for the first Test a day before the match. Skipper Virat Kohli has said the announcement will be made on Wednesday, before the toss.



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