Team India’s batting came undone not for the first time in Test cricket in recent times as England registered a come-from-behind win in Hyderabad in the first game of the five-match series. England were behind the eight-ball when India took a 190-run lead but some outstanding batting from England in the second innings led by Ollie Pope’s 196 helped the visitors take a 230-run lead. England bowlers combined with a deteriorating pitch meant 231 proved to be too tall an order for the Indian batters as they fell short by 28 runs.
This is not the first time that Indian batting has collapsed in a Test match. It happened recently in South Africa, in Indore against Australia and even in the World Test Championship. The batters haven’t been able to negotiate the challenging conditions whether at home or overseas and the spots of Shubman Gill and Shreyas Iyer are under the scanner.
Gill, who made a switch from opening to No 3 before the West Indies series, has scored just 142 runs in eight innings since then at an average of 17.75. Gill mostly opened in Test cricket before that and play at No. 3 only once in 2021 against New Zealand scoring 47 runs, which remains his best at that position.
Former India opener Wasim Jaffer has suggested a swap in batting positions of Gill and Rohit Sharma saying that the Indian captain dropping one place shouldn’t worry him as he plays spin well.
“Gill and Jaiswal should open and Rohit should bat at no.3 in 2nd test in my opinion. Waiting to bat for his turn isn’t helping Shubman, it’s better he opens the inn. Rohit plays spin really well, so batting at no.3 should not worry him too much,” Jaffer wrote on X (formerly Twitter).
Apart from Gill, Shreyas Iyer has been struggling too and the Vizag Test might be the final opportunity for him to showcase his talent and skills given there is no KL Rahul and Virat Kohli will return from third Test onwards.