Former Indian cricketer Sanjay Manjrekar has suggested Team India’s opening combination for the Boxing Day test.
The recent performance by Team India openers has been highly disappointing heading into the Boxing Day Test match. With the likes of Murali Vijay and KL Rahul, India’s opening duo which was expected to be the strongest, however, has failed miserably and has been a disappointment to many. The duo have only managed partnerships of 3, 63, 6 and 0 in four innings in the test series so far.
It was the 19 year old Prithvi Shaw who was expected to replace one of them. His injury, however, has led him to sit out of the series. Mayank Agarwal’s name has been making the rounds for quite some time. Despite his splendid performance in domestic cricket, he has been highly ignored of late but would probably make a debut in the third test match at Melbourne.
According to former Indian cricketer and analyst Sanjay Manjrekar, Hanuma Vihari could be an opening option as he is been able to showcase a consistent performance so far.
“These are Australian conditions. Hanuma Vihari, when you see him bat, you get an impression that this is a guy, who has a good technique. His scoring shots are straight in front of the wicket and he seems calm temperamentally. He is clearly a batsman who has the game to bat at (number) 1, 2 and 3. So the sense is there having Vihari bat at the top of the order,” he was quoted as saying by IndiaTV.
He also mentioned that there shouldn’t high expectations over Mayank’s debut as the pitch wouldn’t be easy for an Indian batsman to do well instantly against the Australians.
“Even if you play Mayank Agarwal, we should not have high expectations because it is extremely tough for an Indian batsman to straightaway go into a Test match on an Australian pitch, especially at the top of the order, where the Kookaburra ball does a lot. So if India does not want to take that risk and put undue pressure on Agarwal, then Vihari is an option (to open the innings). But I will personally still go with Mayank Agarwal and Murali Vijay,” he said.
Not just in the last test at Perth but in almost all the overseas tests in South Africa and England that India lost, it was largely due to batting failures. Speaking of the last test, India made a mistake in not including a front-line spinner in the second test that Australia won on Tuesday at Perth to square the four-match series 1-1. Hence selectors need to be really alert as to what they decide going into the Boxing Day test to be played at the MCG from December 26.