Kolkata: Former India cricketer Deep Dasgupta has said that if the situation arises where the team has to look at a replacement for the injured opener Shubman Gill ahead of the five-Test series against England, the choice should be between Mayank Agarwal and KL Rahul.

While the Indian cricket team in England is fretting over the fitness of Gill who is doubtful for the first Test that begins in Nottingham on August 4 and speculation is building on whether India will send a back-up, the Indian cricket board is yet to come out with an official statement on the status of the batsman’s injury.

As of now, the only information available is that Gill has a leg injury. There is no information on what the injury is and in which leg.

Dasgupta, the cricketer-turned commentator, said that Agarwal should be the first choice as an opener as he is better suited to English conditions and has a better defensive technique than Rahul.

“There are two straightforward options — Mayank Agarwal and KL Rahul. My vote goes for Mayank Agarwal because, yes, he did have two or three bad performances but overall, I think his Test career has been really impressive — in India and especially overseas.

“For KL Rahul, see, he has opened or played in the top order throughout his life whether it’s for Karnataka or India in red-ball or white-ball cricket,” said Dasgupta on his YouTube channel on Saturday.

“But the way he (Rahul) has been playing white-ball cricket, his technique has changed a bit, he’s become more attacking. His attacking technique has improved but his defensive technique… he hasn’t paid that much attention to it. That’s why I feel that KL Rahul, as far as red-ball cricket is concerned, is a very good middle-order option.”

Former India cricketer Wasim Jaffer too has said recently that Agarwal was his choice to replace Gill if the situation arises.

Agarwal had scored two double centuries, against South Africa and Bangladesh, in 2019 on way to surpassing Sir Don Bradman on the list of fastest to score two double Test tons.

“It will be a very big opportunity for Mayank Agarwal and KL Rahul with Mayank being my first preference. He has had an excellent career so far. He was dropped after two poor outings in Australia but I am sure he will be looking forward to this opportunity,” Jaffer had said.