India tour of England: Setback for Virat Kohli & Co, selectors deny sending Prithvi Shaw & Devdutt Padikkal to England as Gill’s replacement

India tour of England: Selectors deny Virat Kohli & Co's request to send Prithvi Shaw & Devdutt Padikkal to UK as Shubman Gill’s replacement

India tour of England: In a setback for Virat Kohli & Co, selectors have denied sending both Prithvi Shaw and Devdutt Padikkal to England as a replacement for injured Shubman Gill. The team management, currently on a short break in the UK ahead of the five-match Test series against England starting August 4, requested the selectors and BCCI to send a replacement for Gill without naming anybody. But the request has been denied.

As per India Today and Cricbuzz, the selection committee, led by former bowler Chetan Sharma, has denied sending either Prithvi Shaw or Devdutt Padikkal as cover. In an email sent on June 28, the team management asked for a batsman and a backup opener as they believe Abhimanyu Easwaran, the standby opener, isn’t ready for international cricket yet.

Also Read: India tour of England: Virat Kohli & Co to continue their break despite COVID-19 outbreak in England squad

India tour of England: With Shubman Gill suffering a shin splint, he has been ruled out for 2-3 months, Prithvi Shaw and Devdutt Padikkal, who are currently on India tour of Sri Lanka, were expected to join the team in the UK immediately. However, Chetan Sharma and other selectors have paid no heed to their request as they believe Mayank Agarwal and Abhimanyu Easwaran are enough for the tour besides KL Rahul, who could be used as a backup opener to partner Rohit Sharma.

“The team’s administrative manager, at the end of last month, had sent an e-mailed requisition to former pacer Sharma asking for two more openers to be sent to the UK,” a senior BCCI source told PTI.

Also Read: India tour of England: Prithvi Shaw, Padikkal on the cards to replace injured Shubman Gill as Abhimanyu Easwaran not ready; Report

India tour of England: As per reports, selectors have instead suggested Virat Kohli & Co to draft Abhimanyu Easwaran to the team even if they have reservations. However, taking Prithvi Shaw and Devdutt Padikkal wasn’t easy as the BCCI would have needed special permission to fly the two youngsters with both India and Sri Lanka on UK’s COVID red list. Furthermore, they would need to isolate for a minimum of 10 days in the UK.

The other factor selectors had to consider was showing confidence in Easwaran. If either of Shaw or Padikkal was to be sent, it would have sent a wrong signal to Easwaran even if he isn’t ready.

“Look if you haven’t picked Prithvi right away then picking him now will send a signal that Easwaran was a wrong selection. That (Easwaran) kid will also end up losing confidence. Devdutt is destined to be a big star if things fall in place and even if he is not sent now, becoming an all-format star is just a matter of time for him,” an ex-selector told PTI.