Shaw and Agarwal to open in ODI series with Rohit ruled out

By Sports Desk February 04, 2020

Prithvi Shaw and Mayank Agarwal will open for India in the ODI series against New Zealand after Rohit Sharma was ruled out for the rest of the tour.

Agarwal was called up to the Test squad on Tuesday after Rohit suffered a tour-ending calf injury.

Shaw was also named in the 16-man Test squad along with Ishant Sharma, although the paceman's participation depends on whether he recovers from an ankle injury.

Fit-again Jasprit Bumrah was also included for two Tests that will come after a three-match ODI series against the Cricket World Cup runners-up, which gets under way at Seddon Park on Wednesday.

Virat Kohli confirmed it Shaw and Agarwal will be at the top of the order in the absence of Rohit as India look to maintain their momentum after a 5-0 Twenty20 International series whitewash of New Zealand.

Asked about the possibility of KL Rahul opening in the 50-over format, Kohli - who revealed the team management had asked for another opener to be flown out - replied: "No, we are looking to stick to that same plan.

"It's an unfortunate situation that Rohit can't be a part of this series. In all formats, he's on the list first and the impact he's had is there for everyone to see.

"We don't have any one-day tournaments to look forward to so it's an ideal time for him to go away and rectify this as soon as he can. He played the T20I series, so from the team's balance perspective heading into a World Cup year, it doesn't hamper combinations.

"Prithvi's in the team and will definitely start and whoever the replacement is [Agarwal] - we've asked for an opener. KL will play in the middle-order, we want him to get used to that role at number five and keep as well."

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    Pakistan strengthened their grip on the second Test against Zimbabwe in Harare after an unbeaten 215 from Abid Ali allowed the tourists to declare on 510-8.

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    The touring side, who won the opener by an innings and 116 runs, resumed on 268-4 on Saturday and could not be slowed.

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    The arrival of Nauman Ali at the crease prompted a huge partnership of 169 and the duo looked immovable at the close of the second session.

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    Kevin Kasuza, captain Brendan Taylor and Milton Shumba also departed before the day was out, with Sajid continuing an enjoyable outing with his first Test wicket.

    The hosts again face a mountain to climb simply to send Pakistan in to bat for a second time, already with only six wickets remaining and 259 off the follow-on mark of 311.

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    Abid scored centuries in two of his first three Test innings but had failed to supply a third since coming into this match. His average stood at 37.

    Now he has a first double-hundred and a batting average of 49.6. The batsman found an accommodating Zimbabwe attack but capitalised far more effectively than many of his team-mates.

    Well worth the wait

    Tabish made his first-class debut in 2002-03 but only now, aged 36, has been handed his chance in the Test arena.

    Not called into action until the sixth session of the match, he soon made up for lost time with just his sixth delivery, nipping back into Musakanda to set Pakistan on their way.

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