Ahead of the first Test, a lot of debate went around the opening pair.
Considering Prithvi Shaw’s form over the last few months, the argument favored Shubman Gill, as he was supported to open.
Despite all the debates, Prithvi Shaw got a chance in the first Test but couldn’t perform well, making the argument against him stronger.
Prithvi Shaw has shown his ability as a quality player and has claimed for himself as a future player.
Despite all the talent, Shaw couldn’t build on a bright start to his career and may need a little more time to settle into international Cricket.
His technique has looked faulty, with the commentators pointing it out on numerous occasions.
He also tends to play some loose shots, which results in his downfall.
Prithvi Shaw is known to start aggressively, so some of his shots look looser than they are.
He made a name for himself in age-group Cricket through his aggressive approach, and Virat Kohli may have felt such a system would have helped in the first Test.
With India’s scoring rate slower in the first Test, Shaw’s approach could have paid off if it worked, but starting with aggression is never an easy ask in Australia and against World-Class pacers.
His poor form and faulty technique came to light during the IPL, where he started well but had a string of low scores later.
His coach, Ricky Ponting, pointed out some issues on commentary during the First Test.
While his approach may have added something new to the line-up, the pink ball Test may have been the second reason behind Shaw’s inclusion.
Prithvi Shaw is into his fifth Test for India and has looked promising in his brief career.
In case the selectors were to look beyond Shaw, Shubman Gill would have got the nod for the First Test.
Making a debut in Australia is never easy, and to do so against the pink-ball may not have been advisable.
The pink ball has shown differences in nature compared to the red ball, and playing a debutant may have been risky.
With India having played only one Test with the pink ball, they may have felt it would be better to keep a player who has played the extended format in the side.
With Virat Kohli leaving and Rohit Sharma not likely until the third Test, the team composition may have also been a factor.
With the form shown by Shubman Gill and the talent on offer, he may get the nod over KL Rahul to come in for Virat Kohli.
With Gill, a potential replacement, playing him at the top may have created a bit of chaos in the side.
In case Gill opened in the first Test and moved down the order for the second Test, India would have had to look at Prithvi Shaw again.
Shaw may have been retained to prevent confusion, as he is likely to open for the second Test.
By retaining him, India may have also hoped he settles into the place, at least until Rohit Sharma returns.
However, the decision may not have worked in India’s favor, with Shaw not spending enough time in the middle.
Amid all the discussion, KL Rahul may get involved as a potential opener, seeing Shaw’s performance in the first Test.
A final possibility as to why Shaw was backed could be due to his recent Test record.
In his brief Test career, Shaw has built a good average and has some good numbers.
He scored a half-century in his last Test, as India lost to New Zealand.
He was one of India’s highest scorers in that innings and looked promising on a challenging surface.
While Test numbers alone show he has been in good form, India last played a Test back in February.
The lack of Test Cricket and domestic Cricket left Shaw confined to the IPL.
A quiet IPL was enough for many to forget his earlier Test exploits, which is what may have highlighted him and his spot.
While many may have forgotten about Test numbers after the long gap, the selectors and Virat Kohli seemed to have remembered.
By selecting Shaw for the First Test, they sent an excellent message to the critics, giving value to recent Test performances and not looking at other formats while choosing the first test side.
Though Shaw didn’t have a good year, the side backed him and retained him, keeping in mind his performance in the most recent series.
The move may not have paid off, but it is a justifiable one as it shows the value put into the format for which the selection is based on.
With the second Test to start in a few days, the side may still discuss the opening slot after seeing some comments regarding Shaw’s technique.
It will be interesting to see if he is backed for another Test.
In case he isn’t, India has Rahul and Gill as options.