Shastri admits form of openers is a concern


India coach Ravi Shastri admits their opening batsmen not scoring enough runs is a “big concern” heading into the Boxing Test against Australia.

The touring side’s number three, Cheteshwar Pujara, and skipper Virat Kohli have already both scored hundreds in the opening two Tests but have also been coming into bat under pressure after early wickets.

Murali Vijay and KL Rahul have not given India the starts they want with Vijay scoring 49 runs in his four innings while Rahul has been even worse with a combined total of 48 runs.

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Shastri said when asked about the failure of the openers in the first two Tests: “It’s a big concern.

“It’s obvious and that responsibility and accountability has to be taken by the top order.

“They’ve got the experience, they’ve got the exposure over these last few years to get out there and deliver. It’s about how strong you are in the mind.”

Spinner Ravichandran Ashwin remains an injury doubt for the tourists as the four-match series goes into the third Test with score locked at 1-1.

Ashwin missed the defeat in Perth with an abdominal strain and Shastri revealed the off-spinner is racing the clock to be ready for the crunch Test starting on Wednesday.

“As far as Ashwin is concerned, we are going to take a look and evaluate over the next 48 hours.”