England vs India: Ajit Agarkar wants Cheteshwar Pujara or Hanuma Vihari to open the batting in 5th Test

ENG vs IND, 5th Test, Ajit Agarkar said that since the upcoming game in a one-off Test, India should go in with experienced opening batters.

Cheteshwar Pujara of India. Courtesy: PTI

Cheteshwar Pujara of India. Courtesy: PTI


  • Rohit Sharma is uncertain to play the Birmingham Test
  • Rohit recently tested positive for COVID-19
  • The one-off Test will start on July 1

Former fast bowler Ajit Agarkar reckoned that India should opt for either Cheteshwar Pujara or Hanuma Vihari as an opener for the re-scheduled Test against England if Rohit Sharma doesn’t recover in time. Earlier, the Nagpur-born Rohit tested positive for COVID-19 and India head coach Rahul Dravid said that the veteran is currently under the observation of the medical team.

Agarkar reckoned that since the upcoming game at the Edgbaston in Birmingham is a one-off Test, India should go for openers, who are experienced at the international level. The veteran also felt that Mayank Agarwal may not be ready for the game due to lack of practice in the nets.

“I know KS Bharat got some runs in the warm-up game. The team management will probably have a look at how prepared Mayank Agarwal is after joining the team. I don’t know if he has enough time to prepare for this one-off Test. With Rohit in isolation, I believe experience will help in opening, whether it is Vihari or Pujara, who has been around for a long time,” Agarkar was quoted as saying on Sony Sports.

“Vihari has already opened for India a couple of times. So, that would be my pick, one of those two if Mayank doesn’t look quite ready as he didn’t have enough time in the nets and is clearly not going to get any (practice) games now. In my opinion, it’s better to go with a little bit more experience because it is a one-off Test,” he added.

With doubts over Rohit’s participation in the upcoming game, it’s also not known who will lead India in the all-important game against Ben Stokes’ Three Lions.

India recently played a practice match against Leicestershire and has been sweating it out before the all-important encounter.

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