ENG VS IND: India has called up Karnataka batsman Mayank Agarwal to join the Test squad against England. This announcement comes after Rohit Sharma tested positive for COVID-19 a few days back. Agarwal can join the squad immediately due to the absence of any quarantine rules in England.

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ENG VS IND: Mayank Agarwal Called Up as Backup
ENG VS IND: Mayank Agarwal Called Up as Backup

Rohit Sharma is currently in isolation in the team hotel. No further announcement has been made on his availability for the Edgbaston Test match. Starting from July 1, India are already without the services of their other opening batsman, KL Rahul, for the game. With a cloud over Rohit’s availability as well, it remains to be seen what combination India plays on Friday.

The management is closely monitoring Rohit’s status and will take a call on his position and captaincy closer to the match. In Rohit’s absence, Jasprit Bumrah will most probably lead the side against England. As far as the opener’s position is concerned, India have a number of options to choose from.

ENG VS IND: Opening Options for India

ENG VS IND: Mayank Agarwal Called Up as Backup
ENG VS IND: Mayank Agarwal Called Up as Backup

After Rahul’s withdrawal from the series, the management confirmed that Shubman Gill would open with Rohit Sharma in the rescheduled fifth Test. However, recent developments mean that the team will have to find a replacement for Rohit Sharma. The possible candidates are Cheteshwar Pujara, Hanuma Vihari, Mayank Agarwal and KS Bharat.

Pujara and Vihari have both opened for India previously in seven and two innings respectively. Pujara has excelled in this role with a century and two half-centuries to his name. He also had a very good County season for Sussex. Vihari, meanwhile, has done a decent job at number three in Pujara’s absence and could continue playing there.

Agarwal is not in the greatest of forms after being dropped from the Test side. He also had an underwhelming IPL season while leading the Punjab Kings. His last Test series against Sri Lanka saw him score just 59 runs from two matches, at an average of 19.66. It seems unlikely that India will slot him ahead of either Pujara or Vihari. Stay tuned for our 100% FREE betting tips and match guides from our professional betting tipsters.

Interestingly, Agarwal was all set to partner Rohit at the top during the start of the series last year. But he got injured ahead of the first Test, and since then, the pair of Rohit and Rahul has not looked back. Their opening partnerships are one of the main reasons India are leading the series 2-1.

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