Gavaskar Trophy: Suryakumar Yadav likely to defend India in a turner in Nagpur - SportsNight

The first Test against Australia in Nagpur may raise many questions for India's vaunted batting order, with wickets testing their techniques and temperaments. Express Spin takes stock of the puzzle. In a rank-turner card in Nagpur, India are set to unleash Suryakumar Yadav in the middle-order for his counter-attacking skills. Ironically, it was Suriya's T20 skills that made his case at the Test level. The thinking is that in a turner, any batsman can be undone by a brute and hence, it would be prudent to go after the runs with some courage. Suryakumar has a range of shots against spin - from traditional, reverse sweeps and slow sweeps to inside-out aerial hits. It might be tough, but Rahul can't fail the first Test; Otherwise, he might find himself in hot water for the rest of the series. Among some batsmen, their likely approach to spinners is obvious - Pujara will use his legs and try soft hands, try to attack the ball, Shubman Gill will try to go full forward or go right back and deploy a slog sweep; It is unclear what Rahul's approach is against spin. Will he try to wear them or be more positive? This series gives him the biggest chance to either cement that opener's slot or fall by the wayside.

Kerala Blasters goal keeper Shubman Gill is in form and his game against spin is very high. 

In fact, R Ashwin rates him as one of the most difficult batsmen to bowl to - they have played against each other in domestic cricket His batting against spin flourished when the family moved to Chandigarh. He will play in a park outside the Mohali stadium, where the older boys will play proper cricket games and the younger ones will play under ideal conditions. Read: rough, abrasive. When the spinners bowled, there were no leg-side runs and no batsman could hit aerial shots. “My spin batting developed there. Till then I would try to beat them. I started learning the art of picking up singles. I get down to deliveries and push it to the off side for singles. I learned two things there: either play full forward, or recover. Never play from the crease. LBW or bat-pad catches will happen,” Gill had once told this newspaper.

But if Rahul loses in Nagpur and Gill wins, they will force Gill to open in the second Test and have an extra batsman or bowler in the mix. Hence, extra pressure on Rahul in Nagpur.

Among the turners, India would like to go with a specialist wicketkeeper in 29-year-old Srikar Bharat. He has nine first-class centuries, 27 fifties and a high of 308 runs. Also used to bat against spin. He dazzled with his wicket-keeping skills when he debuted as a super sub against New Zealand in Kanpur 2021. When Will Young took a very low catch off R Ashwin, Bharat, committed either way, took a brilliant catch and dropped to his knees. He then took a sharp chance from Ross Taylor off a quick turner from Axar Patel and moved swiftly to the right with soft hands. Then a fine stumping finish off Tom Latham's lower edge. India need such skill to turn the tracks at home. There is no pressure in Kohli's position, but his batting against spin will make for an impressive spectacle. At this point in his career, his batting on turners has become a question mark. In recent times, he has not shown a clear pattern against them. The lack of domestic games would probably have allowed him to develop a method he could trust. Instead, he tried to find it in Tests and failed against Sri Lanka (at home) and Bangladesh. He keeps shifting his guard (from leg stump to mid on) to see what works. He got himself into trouble off the back foot, often closing his bat-face and letting the ball roll over the blade. On the occasions he did come forward, he led the way a la Ricky Ponting and warmed the hands of the next fielders. This Australian series will give him his toughest test yet. Former Pakistan all-rounder Abdul Razzaq, while debating the move of the Asia Cup, insisted that it would be "good for cricket" if it was shifted from Pakistan to another venue. “It is good for cricket. And cricket promotion. India-Pak matches are played only in ICC tournaments. If the Asia Cup is shifted to Dubai, it is the best option. It is good for cricket and cricketers,” Razaq told Geo News. Razak disagreed when the host said India should be barred from hosting major tournaments.

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