India vs Australia: Sanjay Manjrekar predicts India’s XI for day-night Test in Adelaide
Team India is set to square off against Australia in the first Test, beginning on Thursday in Adelaide. Ahead of the much-awaited face-off, former Indian batsman Sanjay Manjrekar has predicted his likely Indian XI.
Manjrekar has picked youngster Shubman Gill as Mayank Agarwal’s opening partner ahead of Prithvi Shaw and KL Rahul. The cricketer-turned-commentator believes that Shaw failed in the warm-up games and is likely to sit out.
“Shaw failed in the warm-up games, as well as in the IPL. The IPL should not count, but it is the most recent event, and unless Virat Kohli springs a surprise, Shaw is likely to sit out,” wrote Manjrekar in his column for Hindustan Times.
While Cheteshwar Pujara, skipper Virat Kohli and Ajinkya Rahane form a formidable middle-order for the Adelaide Test, Rishabh Pant found a spot ahead of Wriddhiman Saha. The Delhi wicketkeeper-batsman put a strong case of his selection with a cracking century off just 73 deliveries in the second warm-up match against Australia A at the Sydney Cricket Ground.
“Pant has an impressive overall Test record, two hundreds overseas and two 90s at home. Though a Test century is a Test century, none of those runs came in a pressure situation.
“Saha is, without argument, a far better keeper, and we know that the match will have a lot of fast bowling and swing. In Tests, unlike in T20s and ODIs, wicketkeeping is a vital role, and it’s wise to have a keeper-batsman than a batsman-keeper,” Manjrekar wrote further
Hanuma Vihari, who also notched up a hundred in the pink-ball practice match, also finds a place at No.6 in Manjrekar’s XI. He has been named ahead of Pant in the line-up
Ravichandran Ashwin is the only spinner in the bowling department. While picking the pacers, Manjrekar has trusted the experienced lot and named Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Shami and Umesh Yadav in the line-up.