Crescent Kashmir

Gill impresses at nets

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Determined to leave behind the embarrassing defeat in the series-opener, the Indian team, under stand-in skipper Ajinkya Rahane, switched its focus to red-ball cricket today with Shubman Gill and others grinding it out during a net session ahead of the Boxing Day Test.

Gill, who was not considered for the opening Test despite scoring 43 and 65 in the pink-ball warm-up match, looked in good nick as he along with Mayank Agarwal honed his skills at the nets, indicating that the duo could be the opening combination for the second Test.

The 21-year-old Gill also opens for Punjab in the Ranji Trophy and could be favoured over struggling Prithvi Shaw, who returned with scores of 0 and 4 in the two innings at Adelaide.

KL Rahul, who received the backing from Sunil Gavaskar for the opening slot, too had a long stint at the nets.

Also back at the nets was spin all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja, who had missed the first Test due to a concussion.

Jadeja went for an hour-long spell at the nets during which he bowled to Cheteshwar Pujara. He returned for a second stint later.

The practice session began with head coach Ravi Shastri giving a pep talk to the team members. Shastri also had a chat with Rishabh Pant, who came out to bat at the nets ahead of Wriddhiman Saha.

With Mohammed Shami ruled out of the remainder of the series with a fractured forearm, Mohammed Siraj, Navdeep Saini and Shardul Thakur were seen bowling to Rahane.

Batting coach Vikram Rathour, meanwhile, had a word with young Shaw.

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