“Prithvi would be playing in Australia for the first time. I think it is very exciting to see his progress,” said Indian captain Virat Kohli on Wednesday, hours before the visitors announced their playing XI for the Adelaide Test.
Youngster Prithvi Shaw was named ahead of his U-19 World Cup teammate Shubman Gill as the opening partner of Mayank Agarwal, in the playing XI. The Mumbai batsman wasn’t among runs in both the practice matches. However, he won the management’s trust and bagged the opportunity.
Earlier in the day, Kohli expressed his excitement to see how Shaw would perform in Australia. He is equally eager to see the performance of Gill at this level of Test cricket.
“Shubman has not gotten opportunities at this level yet in Test cricket, as and when he gets an opportunity, it would be interesting to see how he goes about things because he is a very confident young man. Prithvi has performed at the Test level but he would be playing in Australia for the first time. I think it is very exciting to see his progress as well,” said Kohli in the pre-match presser.
Prithvi was a part of India’s tour Down Under in 2018-19 but couldn’t play a single game as he was ruled out of the series after twisting his ankle in the practice match. In his absence, Mayank made his Test debut and the rest is history.
“Mayank did well here when he last came during the 2018-19 series. It is exciting to have young guys in the field, you can literally tell them to enjoy their skillsets in the middle,” Kohli added.
When asked whether one can expect to see KL Rahul in the playing XI, Kohli remained tight-lipped.
“It all boils down to the combination, KL Rahul is a quality player that is why he made his way back into the Test side, in the end, we have to see the balance and combination of the team. Where Rahul fits into our team is a conversation we will have to monitor closely. We have to bring our best squad to Australia and whatever combination you go with is dependent on the conditions,” said Kohli.
The first Test of the series, a pink-ball contest, will begin on December 17 in Adelaide. Australia had won the ODI series while the Men in Blue walked away with the honours in the T20I series.