Former Indian cricket team skipper Sourav Ganguly believes that the team should choose Murali Vijay and KL Rahul as the opening pair for the first Test against England at Edgbaston starting August 1.
In an interview with Australia media outlet cricket.com.au, Ganguly said that Shikhar Dhawan is a better ODI batsman but the pair of Vijay-Rahul is the way to go for Virat Kohli’s side in England.
“I would go with Murali Vijay and KL Rahul as openers in the Test series,” Ganguly said.
“Shikhar Dhawan is a good ODI player, and he was in decent touch during the ODI series as well, however, when he opens in Test cricket in overseas conditions, he doesn’t have a good record, be it South Africa, England or Australia,” he added.
Shikhar Dhawan has not enjoyed a good run of form in the longest format of the game and his performances against South Africa, England and Australia was quite disappointing. The left-hander currently averages 22.06 in 18 innings and in England, the figure drops to 20.33 from six innings.
In the warm-up match against Essex, Shikhar Dhawan failed to score on both occasions and was dismissed in the first over. In contrast, Murali Vijay and KL Rahul both scored half centuries in the first innings and in the second innings, Rahul was unbeaten on 36 when the match was called off due to rain.
However, Ganguly also said that Dhawan has proven himself in home conditions and as a result, it will be a tricky choice for the selectors to drop him. “In India, he scores hundreds in Test cricket … it will be interesting to see the team management’s decision on this,” he said.