India’s playing XI for Eng in 1st Test: Gautam Gambhir picks India’s best XI for 1st Test, leaves out Sundar, Pandya & Agarwal

India’s playing XI for Eng in 1st Test: Former India batsman Gautam Gambhir picked his India playing XI for the India vs England first Test which is scheduled to commence from February 5 and the former cricketer has left out Washington Sundar who was one of the key contributors to India’s historic win at Gabba last month. Along with Sundar, Gambhir didn’t pick all-rounder Hardik Pandya and opener Mayank Agarwal in his playing XI.

Notably, Gambhir has picked 5 bowlers and 6 batsmen in the team. The former Indian opener said that India should definitely go in with a five-pronged bowling attack. He reasoned Axar Patel and Ravichandran Ashwin, who would bat at No. 7 and No. 8 respectively, are capable of contributing with the bat as well.

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“Five bowlers, hundred percent. I have always been a firm believer that India has to go in with five bowlers in any condition. So, probably Axar bats at No.7, it is a direct swap between Jadeja and Axar, Ashwin at No.8. Ashwin will be really confident after what he did at the SCG, Axar can contribute with the bat. So, India needs about 350-odd runs and they have got the bowling attack to get England out,” said Gautam Gambhir in a recent edition of the Star Sports show Game Plan.

Also, Gambhir believes that Mayank’s poor show during the Australia tour is going to cost his place in the England series and Shubman Gill will be picked over him courtesy his superb show in Australia.

“This is what sport is and this is what life is. If you don’t start well and give an opportunity to someone else and that person performs so well, then you will have to wait for your turn. No doubt, Mayank made tons and tons of runs when he got a chance to play international cricket and did well in India also,’ said Gambhir.

“But when he went to Australia, he did not start well. Shubman Gill played with him and he did well. So, now you will have to wait for your turn. And I am sure the team management will not overlook him that quickly. They will keep him with the squad,” he added.

Gambhir also said that he would start with Jasprit Bumrah for the first Test match and will give the pacer a break for the second and then play him in the pink-ball Test match. Also, the former batsman opted to play Mohammed Siraj ahead of old warhorse Ishant Sharma.

Gambhir’s India playing XI:

Shubman Gill, Rohit Sharma, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli, Ajinkya Rahane, Rishabh Pant, Axar Patel, Ravichandran Ashwin, Kuldeep Yadav, Jasprit Bumrah, and Mohammed Siraj.