‘India’s problem in white-ball cricket’: Sanjay Manjrekar reveals why he wants KL Rahul to bat at No. 5
India have now been blessed with a problem that every team wants. They are a number of openers knocking on the door for a place in the side. The likes of Mayank Agarwal, Prithvi Shaw, Shubman Gill are looking to get a place in the starting XI with KL Rahul also an option. Rahul has been played in the middle-order due to Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan’s form at the top. But with no middle-order mainstay in the side, Rahul has shouldered the responsibility of lending balance to the side.
Rahul was in ominous form during the Indian Premier League 2020 as he was the top-scorer in the tournament with 670 runs. But with India he is likely to be played in the middle-order. Former India batsman Sanjay Manjrekar has also advocated for Rahul to be played as a No.5 while giving his nod to Mayank Agarwal as a opener.
“See, the thing is that India has a lot of depth when it comes to white-ball cricket. Rohit is almost irreplaceable but India has options. Let’s not forget, in his last four innings, Rahul scored more than 80 runs in three innings while batting in the middle order (number five) in India’s last ODI series in New Zealand. The credit needs to go to Rahul that he first got a hundred as an opener and then he registered scores of more than 80 while batting at number five,” Manjrekar told ANI.
“India’s problem in white-ball cricket for a long time now has been the number four-six slots. In the World Cup, that hurt India a lot and I feel this area needs to be addressed. That is why I feel, Rahul needs to bat at number five because he has done so well in that position and India needs a dependable middle order. Mayank Agarwal has a Test match sort of temperament and his recent form can be used by India at the top of the order,” he added.
Both Mayank and Rahul could not contribute much with the bat in the first ODI against Australia. Mayanka hit a 18-ball 22 while Rahul was dismissed after scoring 12 runs.
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