Prithvi Shaw was on a downward spiral in the IPL 2020 but Sanjay Manjrekar would prefer him to open with Mayank Agarwal for India in the 4 test series of Border-Gavaskar Trophy. Prithvi Shaw played in 13 matches but scored only 228 runs averaging a dismal 17.53
There is still some doubt regarding who would open the innings for India in the Test series. India had decided that Rohit Sharma would be given an extended run in the longest format of the game considering his recent form. But his injury has opened the debate. Unlike ODIs and T20Is, India is still searching for a stable opening pairing in Tests.
Prithvi Shaw Should Be the Second Opener, But If He Fails, Shubman Gill Can Debut: Sanjay Manjrekar
Mayank Agarwal’s spot in the playing XI is almost assured but the second opener’s slot is still open for someone to get in. KL Rahul has been in good form in the limited-overs format, but his recent record isn’t the greatest in Tests. He was tried in India’s last tour of Australia but could not get going. The other options are youngsters Prithvi Shaw and Shubman Gill.
The selection of Prithvi Shaw is doubtful as he hasn’t been able to perform consistently in the recently-concluded IPL 2020. But former India batsman Sanjay Manjrekar would still pick him in the playing XI while playing Shubman Gill at the No. 6 spot.
“Mayank Agarwal walks in as opener in Tests, let’s assume that Rohit is not playing the first two Tests, I would go for Prithvi Shaw as the second opener. Let’s see how it goes and if Shaw shows the poor form as he did in the IPL, then Shubman Gill can be looked at. In Virat’s absence, Ajinkya Rahane should step up and bat at number four. Hanuma Vihari can bat at number five, if Shubman is tried in the middle order, then he should bat at number six,” Manjrekar told ANI.
Virat Kohli will miss the last 3 tests to attend the birth of a child. But India has other back up options which need to step up in gruelling Australian conditions like KL Rahul, Shubman Gill, Prithvi Shaw, Hanuma Vihari, Mayank Agarwal in the absence of batting mainstays Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma. With mainstays Cheteshwar Pujara and Ajinkya Rahane also present, India have in-depth batting to cope with Australian pace attack.
Sanjay Manjrekar: Bit Of Gamble Since Hardik Pandya Not Bowling
Sanjay Manjrekar also commented on India’s ODI team. He believes that considering India were to pick a player for their middle-order based on his batting, Manish Pandey could have been a better option. With Hardik Pandya not bowling to not risk aggravating his lower back injury, Sanjay Manjrekar felt it was a bit unfair of Manish Pandey since the batsman was part of India’s setup when they last played an ODI series in New Zealand.
“Hardik Pandya not bowling and playing as a pure batsman is a bit of a gamble. Let’s hope it works out. Jadeja was to be expected. I just make selections based on principles of having specialists but this is something that is understandable. That said, it’s unfair on Manish Pandey as a pure batsman to miss out to Hardik Pandya,” Manjrekar said during the pre-match show on India’s Playing XI.
Manish Pandey though has played only 26 matches as he wasn’t given enough opportunities but has scored a solitary ton against Australia in 2015-16 series in Australia being unbeaten on 104 off 81 balls.