VVS Laxman on India’s Playing XI for first test, ‘Don’t think KL Rahul is in fray for spot in Indian XI

VVS Laxman on India’s Playing XI for first test : Former India batsman VVS Laxman has said that he was surprised to see KL Rahul not playing the three-day pink-ball practice game against Australia A last week. According to Laxman now he feels KL Rahul is not in contention for a spot in India’s playing XI.

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The first Test of the four-match series, between Australia and India, beginning on December 17, will be played at the Adelaide Oval and will be a day-night contest. Australia has the best record in day-night Tests as the side has not lost a single match that has been played with the pink ball. Last week, the Indians played a three-day practice game with the pink ball. The match ended as a draw and for the Indians, Rishabh Pant and Hanuma Vihari scored centuries in the second innings.

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Speaking on the Star Sports show ‘Cricket Connected’, Laxman said: “I think it’s the batting line-up and it’s the opening combination. When we see the practice games, I was surprised that KL Rahul was not playing the only practice match with the pink ball. That means he is not in the fray as far as the first Test is concerned, which means it has to be decided between Prithvi Shaw and Shubman Gill.”

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Laxman also cited how both Prithvi Shaw and Shubman Gill don’t have the desired experience of playing in Australia. The former India batsman also said that the biggest challenge for India would be to decide an opening partner alongside Mayank Agarwal.

“Prithvi Shaw, low in confidence, Shubman Gill hasn’t played a single Test match, so inexperience is there as far as the opening partner, who is going to open with Mayank Agarwal. So, that’s the biggest question I feel Virat Kohli has in front of him,” said Laxman.

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India had defeated Australia 2-1 during the 2018-19 series and this was the first time, that India managed to win a Test series on Australian soil. However, during that series, the Paine-led side was without David Warner and Steve Smith as the duo was suspended for one year for their involvement in the ball-tampering scandal.

The first Test of the series, a pink-ball contest, will begin on December 17 at Adelaide. Australia had won the ODI series while the Men in Blue walked away with the honors in the T20I series.

Likely Playing XI for India for the first Test
1) Mayank
2) Gill
3) Pujara
4) Kohli
5) Rahane
6) Hanuman Vihari
7) Saha
8) Ashwin
9) Siraj
10) Bumrah
11) Shami

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