India vs Australia 2018-19: Sanjay Manjrekar Reveals His India Playing XI For Adelaide Test
Ahead of the much-awaited Test series between India and Australia, former India batsman Sanjay Manjrekar has picked his India playing eleven for the series-opener.
The blockbuster Border-Gavaskar trophy series will start on December 6th in Adelaide. The Perth Stadium will host the second Border-Gavaskar match on December 14th, before the series moves to Melbourne for the boxing day test match on December 26th and Sydney for New Year’s game on January 3rd, 2019.
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Like many, Manjrekar was also not sure about who would open the innings alongside Prithvi Shaw. While the Indian team-management is likely to persist with KL Rahul, the opener’s another failure in the ongoing warm-up game might change things. Surprisingly, the Mumbai-based cricketer-turned-commentator opted for Rohit Sharma over Hanuma Vihari.
Shaw has looked impressive since making a century on his Test debut against Windies. He followed it up with a fine fifty. Recently. he scored two fifties for India A in the first unofficial Test against New Zealand and a 66 against Cricket Australia XI on Thursday (November 29).
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“Vijay did not look the same player, temperamentally, in South Africa and England. [KL] Rahul is an enigma for me. He is a high-quality batsman, very organised, but I’ve never seen someone lose their sense of timing like he did. It was a surprise that he struggled in England. Even on Indian batting pitches, he hasn’t quite got his timing right. So the Rahul that goes to Australia this time isn’t as good a player, temperamentally and technically,” Sanjay Manjrekar told ESPNcricinfo.
Manjrekar also explained the reason behind picking Rohit at No.6 over Hanuma. Rohit has not played a Test since flopping in South Africa this year. He was subsequently dropped from the team and is making a comeback through the upcoming series. On the other hand, Vihari scored a gritty fifty on his Test debut in England. He also scored a fifty in the ongoing warm-up game against Cricket Australia XI.
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“I want Rohit Sharma to be in this playing XI, batting at No. 6, because his form has been good, and Adelaide is the place where you take this gamble. Giving him another opportunity in a Test match is a big gamble, but him batting down at No. 6, if he has to bat with tailenders, like [Jos] Buttler has been doing for England, then it is an exciting thought. If he gets some form, he could be the game changer in a Test match. So I would play Rohit Sharma at No. 6,” explained Manjrekar.
Sanjay Manjrekar’s XI for first Test in Adelaide:
Prithvi Shaw, KL Rahul/Murali Vijay, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli (c), Ajinkya Rahane, Rohit Sharma, Rishabh Pant, R Ashwin, Ishant Sharma, Mohammed Shami, Jasprit Bumrah.
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