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Will the axe be wielded on India's openers?

Last updated on: December 18, 2018 13:33 IST

KL Rahul is bowled by Mitchell Starc in the 2nd innings of the Perth Test

IMAGE: KL Rahul is bowled by Mitchell Starc in the 2nd innings of the Perth Test. Photograph: Ryan Pierse/Getty Images

Forget the selection gaffe by India in the Perth Test.

India have more serious worries on their hands heading into the Boxing Day Test at the Melbourne Cricket Ground next week – the visitors are definitely in a spot of bother as far as their opening combination is concerned.

Virat Kolhi’s team will have to address their problems at the top of the order with the opening partnerships from Lokesh Rahul and Murali Vijay of three, 63, six and zero in the first two Tests.

 

First choice opening batsman Prithvi Shaw injured his ankle while fielding during a tour match against a Cricket Australia XI in Sydney last month and has been ruled out of the rest of the series.

Fellow opener Mayank Agarwal, who has yet to make his Test debut, was named as Shaw's replacement and could replace either Rahul or Vijay in Melbourne.

"You have to keep backing them and telling them they belong and they are good enough to perform," Kohli said.

"It's not even giving someone individual goals, it's just telling them that this is what we require as a team from the openers and this is the role that needs to be fulfilled.

"I think as a batting group, we have spoken a lot about those things. Executing it or not is again a thing of variables in a sport. I am sure that these guys have figured out what has gone wrong in this game, specially, and they are very keen to correct it themselves.

"There's not much that you can say, to be honest. You just have to be confident as a side and individuals to a certain extent have to take responsibility of that. The guys are obviously looking forward to taking that responsibility," he added.

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