Gill will bat at No. 3, Jaiswal to open against West Indies: Rohit

Roseau: India skipper Rohit Sharma on Tuesday said that young batter Yashasvi Jaiswal will open the Indian innings in the Test series against the West Indies since Shubman Gill has expressed his desire to bat at number three on a long term basis.

Shubhman has opened the innings with his skipper since making his Test debut in 2021 against Australia.

Not one to give away his team combination, the Indian skipper for a change spoke about his batting order and how Jaiswal’s presence helped them to have a left-right combination to begin with.

“As far as batting order is concerned, Gill will bat at No. 3 as he himself wants to play at that slot. He himself went up to Rahul bhai (coach Dravid) and requested that since he has played all his cricket at No. 3 and 4, he feels he could contribute more for team in that slot,” Rohit said during a media conference on the eve of the opening Test.

“For us, it’s a good thing that we will have a left-right combination at the top. Hopefully, this will be a long term solution as we were desperate for left hander at the top. Hope he (Jaiswal) can make that spot his own,” said Rohit.

The PTI had reported last week after India’s two-day warm-up game that Jasiwal had a fair chance of opening as he came out to face the new ball with his skipper and Gill came in at No. 3.

In fact, in 2019, Gill toured West Indies with India A team and batted at number 3, 4 and 5 in three Test matches. Rohit also said that both Ravindra Jadeja and Ravichandran Ashwin will play alongside three pacers.

In 2017 when the last Test was played at Windsor Park, Pakistan’s leg-spinner Yasir Shah had a match haul of eight wickets in his team’s 101 run win.

“We will play with three seamers and two spinners after having a look at the wicket. In 2017 in Pakistan vs West Indies game, lot of wickets were taken by spinners and last few days when we trained, we also found that there is some bounce on offer,” Rohit said.

While Mohammed Siraj and Shardul Thakur pick themselves, the fight for the third seamer’s slot with be between Jaydev Unadkat, Mukesh Kumar and Navdeep Saini.

Rohit understands that seniors, including Virat Kohli, Ajinkya Rahane and he himself, need to perform but he also reminded that once someone wears the India shirt, everyone has a responsibility to win matches.

“All eleven will have responsibility to win the match. If you play for a long period, yes, you have some extra responsibility but once you wear that India jersey, both me and a new player will have same opportunities and same conditions to counter.

“Obviously, I will have more knowledge but every one wants to perform. Just not seniors but everyone needs to step up,” Rohit said.