With Rishabh Pant out of the first two Tests against Australia in the upcoming 2022 Border-Gavaskar Trophy, Rahul Dravid and Rohit Sharma must find a competent replacement for the strong mid-table batsman. Pant has been replaced by Ishan Kishan in the side as KS Bharat always had to be chosen as a backup keeper. But playing Ishan in two Tests is highly unlikely until there is another injury issue. Bharat gets to play or worst case KL Rahul can keep wickets. The bigger concern will be to replace Pant, the test fitting. For years, Pant has pulled India out of trouble and taken the side to impossible victories.
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Experts believe that Suryakumar could replace Yadav Pant as a batsman in the Indian middle league. India needs an attacking player in the middle. Others feel different. If Shreyas Iyer is excluded from the Test squad, there is a good chance that Mumbai’s Sarfaraz Khan will make the cut. Sarfaraz has not been in great shape this season, but the past three seasons. He’s made countless runs, but the national call-up still seems some distance away from him. Reports suggest that if Shreyas fails to make the cut in time, he will be replaced by Sarfaraz.
And we are here. Day-1 of #AakashVani On @JioCinema Big shout out to @ImRaina for making this special _ Many thanks to @pragyanojha @rpsingh @anantyagi_ @suhailchandhok for adding tremendous value. This can not be missed @bishnoi0056 challenge. _ pic.twitter.com/ls7p0UmuPp— Aakash Chopra (@cricketaakash) January 25, 2023
In that case, it could end up batting between Surya and Sarfaraz for a spot in the Indian Test XI for the first Test. The experts at JioCinema are divided on this. Suresh Raina thinks Surya should go ahead and play the Tests vs Australia. Speaking about JioCinema’s new daily show ‘AAKASHVANI’ hosted by Aakash Chopra, Raina said. “Absolutely, the way he performs. I think he should play in all three formats and without him all three formats wouldn’t even exist. The way he performed, the way he shows his intent, the way he plans different shots he also plays fearlessly and knows how to use the dimension of the ground he is a mumbai player and he knows how to play red ball cricket i think he has a great chance – by test cricket he’ll get another establishment in ODIs and some stability too. He’ll score several 100s and then 200s.”
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But former Indian opener and Tamil Nadu player Abhinav Mukund disagreed with Raina, saying if white ball is the parameter for test selections then why play Ranji Trophy? “Why? Why keep the Ranji trophy? Why not reward domestic achievements? Sarfaraz Khan has been in insane form, at least I would have rewarded him with an Australian series cap. Suryakumar Yadav is exceptional in the T20 format. They want the same kind of fighting spirit from him in the Test side. But unfortunately I’m the guy who follows the hierarchy and Sarfaraz should be there,” Mukund said.
At the same time, Pragyan Ojha agreed with Raina and said that SKY should play against Australia adding that Sarfaraz’s time will come soon.