Sanjay Manjrekar suggests the opening pair for India in the Boxing Day Test

Sanjay Manjrekar suggests the opening pair for India in the Boxing Day Test

He suggested a new alternative to solve India's opening problem.

Murali Vijay
Murali Vijay. (Photo by Jason McCawley/Getty Images)

Former cricketer and analyst Sanjay Manjrekar has been closely following the Australia vs India Test series and like most was disappointed with the Indian openers. Murali Vijay and KL Rahul were entrusted with the duties in the first two Tests. This duo, however, ended up massively disappointing one and all. In four innings thus far, they put up partnerships of 3, 63, 6, 0.

Therefore, it has resulted in severe criticism and there are several demands on changing the opening pair. While Prithvi Shaw was expected to replace one of them, he is unfortunately injured and thus ruled out of the series. However, the selectors have named an able replacement in the form of Mayank Agarwal. He was constantly ignored despite some terrific performances in domestic cricket. Mayank could well make his debut in Melbourne.

Manjrekar wants Murali Vijay to continue

The former middle-order batsman rates Hanuma Vihari highly after his stable show in Perth. He stated that the Andhra batsman could be an opening option if India wishes not to take a risk with a debutant. Sanjay said that Vihari has clearly got the game to bat in the top order.

“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 said.

Also, he noted that there shouldn’t be high expectations on Mayank in case he makes his debut as the conditions are extremely tough for an Indian batter to do well straightaway against the Kookaburra in Australia.

“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.

Manjrekar opined that Vijay looked good when he scored the 20-odd runs in the second Test. Further, he even lashed out at the team for the selection decision.

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