Virat Kohli’s potential replacements for the 2nd Test

Virat Kohli is on his way home after the first Test defeat in Adelaide.

His decision to go on paternity leave is known, and India will now have to fight without him.

Along with Virat Kohli, India will also have to deal with the absence of Mohammad Shami.

Ahead of the second Test, India will have to see who comes in for the two players.

With the opening pair not doing as well as needed, there are quite a few options on who comes in for Virat Kohli.

We will now be looking at the potential replacements for Virat Kohli:

Shubman Gill:

Virat Kohli
With Virat Kohli absent, Shubman Gill may be in line for a Test debut

Shubman Gill narrowly missed out on a Test debut in Adelaide, with the selectors backing Prithvi Shaw.

Gill is in good form, having scored well in the IPL and the tour games.

Seen as a potential replacement for Virat Kohli, a reason behind not playing Gill in the first Test could prevent confusion in the batting order.

Gill could walk into the number four spot for the second Test with Shaw opening, rather than having to drop down the order after a Test debut as an opener.

Gill may have been the front-runner for Kohli’s spot with a wide range of shots and outstanding ability.

With Shaw not performing in the first Test, the scenario may change.

If the selectors decide to give Shaw a break, they may bring in Rahul and Gill together and have one open while the other plays in the middle-order.

KL Rahul:

KL Rahul has been in good form in limited-overs cricket but has not played Test cricket in a while.

His last Test was back in 2019, against West Indies, and he missed a handful of Tests afterward.

He is now in the Test squad after returning to form, and Kohli’s absence may have impacted his inclusion.

Knowing Virat Kohli is leaving the squad, India may have felt Rahul has the talent to cover for him.

Unless there is a change in the batting order, the number four slot could go to either Gill or Rahul.

With Shaw struggling, there may still be a chance for Rahul’s inclusion, but as an opener.

Ravindra Jadeja:

Ravindra Jadeja may be in contention for the second Test after a concussion and hamstring injury.

With Mohammad Shami injured, and a middle-order spot opening, Ravindra Jadeja may be a potential inclusion.

He is in good batting form, and his bowling has been steadily improving.

With the bowling attack light on experience, there is a possibility to go with five bowlers.

With Ravindra Jadeja coming in at number six and Rahane and Vihari moving up a position, the side will have more bowling options.

Playing five bowlers, with Ravindra Jadeja at number six, is a likely route to be taken.

Both Ravindra Jadeja and Ravichandran Ashwin have batted at number six in the past, and having both in the squad will provide an excellent cover to the pace bowlers.

Ajinkya Rahane at number four:

With the bowling attack lighter after injuries to some star bowlers, Ajinkya Rahane may promote himself or Hanuma Vihari to the number four spot.

Both are capable batsmen and have proved their ability in Test Cricket in recent times.

With Ajinkya Rahane termed as a bowler’s captain, he will likely lean to the five bowler strategy.

In case the side goes with five bowlers, the promotion for Rahane is a promising strategy.

By adding an extra bowler, Rahane will have more options, despite the possibility of being a batsman short.

After the first Test’s performance, various new debates have opened up, as the older arguments have also strengthened.

There remain doubts over Saha’s and Shaw’s positions after their returns in the first Test.

The bowling attack is a massive spot of bother, and Rahane will have a lot on his plate while selecting the eleven for the second Test.

Sanjay Sanapoori

A mechanical engineering student, who has immense love for cricket. Been a fan of the game since 2009 and would love to stay involved with Cricket someway or the other.