With Edgbaston Test edging closer, the Indian team management has asked Mayank Agarwal to join the squad in England after a latest setback saw captain Rohit Sharma testing positive for covid-19 and placed in isolation. It’s still not known if Rohit will be available for the rescheduled Test against England starting July 1 and hence, Agarwal has been asked to link up the touring party.
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Injury to KL Rahul and then Rohit testing positive for coronavirus means India are left with one specialist opener – Shubman Gil – who is fit and available as of now.
As per the latest UK government guidelines, Agarwal will not have to undergo any quarantine and be available for selection immediately.
“The All-India Senior Selection Committee has added Mayank Agarwal to India’s Test squad for the rescheduled fifth Test as cover for captain Rohit Sharma, who tested positive for COVID-19. Mayank has left for the UK and will link up with the squad in Birmingham,” BCCI said in a statement.
NEWS – Mayank Agarwal added to India’s Test squad as a cover for captain Rohit Sharma, who tested positive for COVID-19.
— BCCI (@BCCI) June 27, 2022
Agarwal last played a Test for India during the Sri Lanka series at home but after managing just 59 runs from the two matches, he was not considered for the upcoming Test against England. He didn’t have a fruitful IPL season either where he captained Punjab Kings as the team finished sixth in the standings.
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Former India head coach Ravi Shastri suggested captaincy is weighing heavily on the batter’s shoulders and is affecting his form. “I love the kid. I know how he plays his cricket, how determined he is. But it’s putting a guy who is very good at what he does in a wrong place. And it can have problems. Serious problems. Serious repercussions. It could have cost him his place in the Indian side. Test side, everything, because the selectors will judge on current form, they will judge on what they actually see,” Shastri had said.
Former India opener Virender Sehwag has criticised the selectors for not taking an extra opener for the England tour.
“I think there is a mistake on the part of selectors that we didn’t take an extra opener as back-up. Because everyone thought Rohit is fit, Shubman Gill is fit. No one anticipated this Covid factor. One or two extra players always go and in days of Covid, you have 20-22 extra players. If you have a 22-man squad and you don’t have an extra opener, it’s a big mistake on your part,” he told Sony’s pre match show for India vs Ireland ‘Extra Innings.’
“Someone will be asked to open. Maybe Pujara, maybe KS Bharat. Now if Bharat opens and he fails, will he get another chance? Pujara had made an excellent comeback, if he doesn’t score, will he play again?,” he said, adding that the above mentioned players must be backed to the hilt,” he added
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