India tour of England: Mayank Agarwal fails to cement his spot, Virat Kohli has huge call to make

India tour of England: Mayank Agarwal fails to cement his spot, falls for 28 vs Select County XI
India tour of England: Mayank Agarwal fails to cement his spot, falls for 28 vs Select County XI

India tour of England: Mayank Agarwal has yet again squandered an opportunity to make the opening slot in Test matches his own after falling cheaply in the tour game against Select County XI. Presented with a chance to win his spot in the side back owing to Shubman Gill’s injury, Agarwal fell after scoring a paltry 28. The Karnataka star’s failure will be a cause of concern for Virat Kohli, who could be tempted to give a go to fellow options including Abhimanyu Easwaran and KL Rahul.

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India tour of England: Team India have a huge call to make ahead of their series against England with Mayank Agarwal continuing to struggle to seal his spot in the side. Agarwal was India’s designated opener in 2019 but lost his place to Shubman Gill after a horror tour of Australia. Agarwal managed a total of 31 runs in four Tests before being dropped and failed on his return to the XI in Brisbane, managing scores of 38 and 9.

India tour of England: Overlooked for the home series against England, the Punjab Kings star did well in the IPL 2021 to earn a call-up for the England tour. While he did not get to play in the WTC Final, he was the designated opener for the Test series in Shubman Gill’s absence due to injury. But his 28 against the Select County XI in the tour match should put his place in doubt and won’t give Virat Kohli that confidence.

Now, the spot is up for grabs again as KL Rahul is the other option to open alongside Rohit Sharma. Mayank Agarwal has scored only a solitary half-century in his last six Tests, since double hundred against Bangladesh in Indore. While Mayank Agarwal is likely to get an opportunity in the first Test against England, the Karnataka batsman will know he is walking on thin ice after repeated failures in the longest format of the game.

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India tour of England: Who will open for India should they drop Mayank Agarwal?

  • Among current options, Abhimanyu Easwaran and KL Rahul will be front runners to replace Mayank Agarwal at the top of the order.
  • Abhimanyu Easwaran has been on the fringes of the Indian team and could get a look in as the natural opener having scored heavily in the domestic circuit for Bengal.
  • While Virat Kohli and the Team management view Rahul as a middle-order batsman, he has opened the batting in Tests previously and also has a century in England.
  • Hanuma Vihari is also another option, with the Andhra Pradesh star having opened for India previously in Australia during Agarwal’s debut series. Vihari also boasts of County experience and can also bowl a few overs, which could make him a desirable pick for Virat Kohli.