Sanjay Manjrekar advises Vijay Shankar to model his game in Virat Kohli style and cut out on aerial shots
Manjrekar thought it was a golden opportunity for Pant and Shankar to cement their place in the World Cup squad.
Updated - Mar 14, 2019 9:18 pm
Team India ended their last international assignment before the ICC World Cup 2019 against Australia with a 35-run loss in the fifth ODI in Delhi. With this defeat, Indian team also lost the series 2-3 to the visiting Australians, who had earlier also won the T20I series 2-0. The Indian team continued experimenting during the series and were searching for an ideal playing XI throughout the series. The beneficiaries of this experimentation were the likes of Rishabh Pant and Vijay Shankar, who got quite an opportunity in the series to cement their berths in the World Cup 2019 squad.
India had started the ODI encounter on an authoritative note winning the first two matches in Hyderabad and Nagpur. But Australia made a triumphant comeback in the last three ODIs at Ranchi, Mohali, and Delhi. This included a record 359-run chase by Aaron Finch’s men in Mohali, the highest ODI chase against India in India.
Indian team’s experiments during the ODI series
However, their performances in the last two ODIs left much to be wanted as Pant failed to impress with both the bat and behind the stumps with the gloves. In the final ODI, Shankar was looking good in the chase of 272 runs, but went one shot too many off leg-spinner Adam Zampa and was caught on the boundary. Pant meanwhile got an opportunity to bat at no.4 in Delhi ODI, but he fluffed the chance with an innings of 16 runs, as he perished trying to dominate the attack.
Sanjay Manjrekar criticizes Pant and Shankar for their performances
Former India cricketer turned commentator Sanjay Manjrekar was not at all happy with the performances of two of India’s young prospects in the last two ODIs, and especially in the final one-dayer. He felt that both of them lost a golden chance to cement their spots in India’s World Cup squad.
Manjrekar had special words of advice for Shankar, as according to him, the all-rounder was playing too many aerial shots and since he is no Pant, who can clear the boundary easily, should play more along the ground, as captain Kohli does. He wanted the Tamil Nadu lad to play risk-free cricket, instead of losing his wicket to an unnecessary shot.
Here is Manjrekar’s tweet about Pant and Shankar:
Really disappointing with Pant and Shankar today, what a great chance to show their ability. Shankar may have the big shots but he is no Pant, must learn to keep the strike rate up by hitting more along the ground just like his captain does.#AusvIndia
— Sanjay Manjrekar (@sanjaymanjrekar) March 13, 2019