IND vs AUS: Harbhajan snubs KL Rahul from 1st Test

The veteran off-spinner snubbed vice-captain KL Rahul and picked Shubman Gill to open the innings alongside skipper Rohit Sharma.

  • Sinchan Saha | February 8, 2023 | 6:22 pm

India’s XI for the first Test against Australia at the Vidarbha Cricket Association Stadium in Nagpur has been selected by veteran spinner Harbhajan Singh. In the upcoming Border-Gavaskar Trophy, which will begin on February 9, both teams’ chances of reaching the World Test Championship final are in jeopardy.

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The Indian cricket team is experiencing an injury crisis due to the absence of Shreyas Iyer, Rishabh Pant, and Jasprit Bumrah. As a result, the team management is in a difficult position to select their strongest XI in their absence.

Harbhajan has named his XI, leaving out a few notable players. He had a dominating Test record against Australia, taking 95 wickets in 18 matches

The veteran offspinner chose Shubman Gill and skipper Rohit Sharma to open the innings instead of vice-captain KL Rahul. The 23-year-old has scored centuries in a variety of formats over the past year and is in excellent form. Rahul has already lost his ODI vice-captainship to Hardik Pandya, despite his recent slump and inability to score big runs.

In spite of Kuldeep Yadav’s recent memorable performances in both white-ball and red-ball formats, he left Kuldeep Yadav out of the XI and selected Ravindra Jadeja, Ravichandran Ashwin, and Axar Patel to form the spin trio.

Cheteshwar Pujara and Virat Kohli, ranked three and four, respectively, were the Turbanator’s obvious selections. He chose Suryakumar Yadav to make his Test debut for India when he was just 5 years old. Another debutant, KS Bharat, made his debut as a wicketkeeper-batter.

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Because the Nagpur surface is anticipated to be a rank-turner, Harbhajan selected Mohammed Shami and Mohammed Shami as the two frontline pacers in the XI.