In a unique suggestion ahead of the second Test in Adelaide, Sanjay Manjrekar has backed Cheteshwar Pujara to open the batting for India in Melbourne. With the conundrum regarding India’s openers, Manjrekar said that opening with Pujara will also lessen India’s chances of losing an early wicket and also tire out the opposition bowlers.
Meanwhile, Pujara has been India’s designated number three over the years and has done a commendable job at that position. Incidentally, Pujara has opened for India in four matches scoring 348 runs in just five innings with a century and two fifties.
India lost the first Test against Australia in a humiliating matter. They were bowled out for their lowest score of 36. In these testing times, Sanjay Manjrekar believes that the Indian team management can think about opening with Pujara. Injuries have plagued India’s progress as well for the remainder of the tournament with their backs against the wall.
India will be without Virat Kohli for the final three Tests against Australia. Ajinkya Rahane will lead the team in his absence. Now, Mohammed Shami has also been ruled out of the remainder of the test series with a fractured arm.
Open with Cheteshwar Pujara in Melbourne: Sanjay Manjrekar
Prithvi Shaw who was backed as an opener in the first game badly failed at his job. He scored a duck and four in the two innings. His failure in the two innings has opened up the debate about looking for new openers for the next three tests. This is the reason why Manjrekar has come up with the suggestion.
“I have batted no 3 overseas. You are invariably going in early, facing bowlers with their tails up from ball no 1. Anyone for Pujara opening? To make his life easier? + better chance of not losing a quick wkt & opposition being on top early. Tell me your top 4 next Test,” Sanjay Manjrekar tweeted.
I have batted no 3 overseas. You are invariably going in early, facing bowlers with their tails up from ball no 1.
Anyone for Pujara opening? To make his life easier? + better chance of not losing a quick wkt & opposition being on top early. Tell me your top 4 next Test👍
— Sanjay Manjrekar (@sanjaymanjrekar) December 23, 2020
Meanwhile, Pujara has been batting at number 3 for India in Tests for quite a while now and has been one of the best batsmen for the team in the longest format. He was the top-scorer for India with 521 runs in 4 games as Kohli & Co. scripted history by winning their maiden Test series in Australia on the 2018-19 tour.