Adelaide: India preferred Prithvi Shaw over an in-form Shubman Gill to partner Mayank Agarwal in the series-opening pink-ball Test against Australia. The visitors Wednesday announced their playing XI after much deliberation. Prithvi Shaw has not been in good form with the bat in the two warm-up games. Hence his inclusion came as a surprise. Gill on the other hand played well and scored a half century in the pink ball game the visitors played.
Shaw has been in poor form and his technique has also been questioned. However, skipper Virat Kohli, during the pre-match press conference, made it clear that both Gill and KL Rahul are not in his scheme of things as of now.
Also, veteran Wriddhiman Saha has been selected over Rishabh Pant, who scored a hundred in the pink ball practice game. Saha had scored a gutsy 50 that got more credence than Pant’s 100 against slow bowlers. Also undoubtedly Saha is a better keeper than Pant at this juncture. On the bouncier Australian tracks, the Indian think tank thought that Saha would be a better choice.
The four-Test series begin Thursday with a day/night contest. This is the first occasion that India will be playing a pink ball game outside the country. The only other pink ball game India played was against Bangladesh at the Eden Gardens in Kolkata. They won the match comfortably.
Playing XI: Virat Kohli (captain), Mayank Agarwal, Prithvi Shaw, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane (vice-captain), Hanuma Vihari, Wriddhiman Saha (wicket-keeper), Umesh Yadav, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Shami and Ravichandran Ashwin.