Sourav Ganguly wants Murali Vijay, KL Rahul to open for India vs England at Edgbaston

Sourav Ganguly believes that Murali Vijay and KL Rahul should be India’s opening pair for the first Test of the upcoming five-Test series starting at Edgbaston on August 1.

“I would go with Murali Vijay and KL Rahul as openers in the Test series,” Ganguly told India TV, while outlining his reasons for not picking Shikhar Dhawan who bagged a pair in India’s three-day tour match with Essex last week.

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“Shikhar Dhawan is a good ODI player, and he was in decent touch during the ODI series as well, however, when he opens in Test cricket in overseas conditions, he doesn’t have a good record, be it South Africa, England or Australia,” said Ganguly.

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Indeed, across the three countries, Dhawan has scored 397 runs at 22.05, while Vijay has 1,162 at 38.73. Rahul averages only 20 for his 160 runs, but that is across four matches, and he is in stupendous form. Dhawan, on the other hand, registered a pair against Essex (facing only four balls across the innings). Rahul and Vijay both got first-innings fifties, and Rahul even added an unbeaten 36 in the second innings for good measure.

But then, there is another catch, as Ganguly pointed out. “In India, he scores hundreds in Test cricket.” In fact, the last time Dhawan played a Test, he had become the first Indian to score a hundred before lunch on Day One of a Test, against Afghanistan. “It will be interesting to see the team management’s decision on this,” he said.