Why did Indian selectors turn down the request of sending Prithvi Shaw and Devdutt Padikkal to England?

There are a few logical reasons behind the decision to not send Shubman Gill's replacement to England.

Rohan Gulaty Author

Updated - 6 July 2021 11:39 pm

As India's Test opener Shubman Gill got ruled out of the upcoming 5-match Test series against England, there were reports of Indian team management requesting the selection committee for Gill's replacement. Prithvi Shaw and Devdutt Padikkal were the two openers in question and the management were awaiting a formal confirmation for the same. However, in the latest development, Chetan Sharma led selection committee have officially turned down management's request asking for Gill's replacement. While fans have been wondering the logic behind the same, these are the few reasons that could have led to this decision:

1. Stand-by players

A 24-member contingent had been sent to England considering all the possibilities of injuries during the tour. India already have back-up opening batsman Abhimanyu Easwaran within their ranks as the 25-year-old travelled with the team as stand-up player. With the duo of Mayank Agarwal (who has travelled as the 3rd opener) and KL Rahul (who has also opened for India in Tests before) already in the squad, the selection committee reportedly is of the opinion that there are no further replacements required.

2. Logistical challenges

With India still in UK's red list, travelling to England is not an easy task. The original squad travelled by a chartered plane which included the players and staff members of both men's and women's team. It is not a practically feasible option to arrange a chartered flight for only two players, which is also one of the reasons that a 24-member contingent had been sent at first place. However, if there are few more injuries before the first Test, the committee might react accordingly.

3. Quarantine protocols

All the members of India's Test team are set to assemble by July 15 in Durham where they will start their preparations for the series against England. Notably, Prithvi Shaw and Devdutt Padikkal are currently in Sri Lanka for the white-ball series which will end on July 25. Hence, the duo will anyway not be able to join the team for the initial camp. To add to it, they will have to undergo an extended quarantine on reaching England, which will anyway rule them out for first two Tests at least.