Former Indian cricketer Sanjay Manjrekar said that if the Indian top order consisting of Rohit Sharma, Shubman Gill and Virat Kohli gives Men in Blue a fine start and do not lose their wickets, it will be their match to win. The Asia Cup kickstarted on Wednesday with a match between Pakistan and Nepal in Multan. India will start their campaign against Pakistan in Kandy on September 2. In recent conversations with Star Sports, prominent cricket analysts Sanjay Manjrekar and former India cricketer Sanjay Bangar delved into India’s batting strategies and the versatility of its players.
The experts highlighted the significance of India’s top-order strength and the crucial role of not losing early wickets to secure successful outcomes.
Manjrekar emphasized the test cricket skills needed at the beginning of a 50-over match and commended the defensive prowess of India’s top three batters – Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma, and Shubman Gill.
Manjrekar spoke on the strength of the top order of India and how important it is for them not to lose early wickets to see the match out, he said “See, fortunately for India, number one, two, and three, when Virat bats at number three, they are three very good test batters. And you might talk about 50 overs being a one-day match and white-ball cricket and all that, but the start of a 50 overs game is not like a T20 match. I think there are some serious test cricket skills needed, and then Rohit Sharma got these five hundreds in the last World Cup. I remember him respecting the bowling in the first 10 overs. And these three guys – Gill, Rohit Sharma, and Virat – who have excellent credentials as defensive test batters, that is the game they will have to bring. If they do not lose early wickets, then it is just their game.”
Meanwhile, Bangar shed light on KL Rahul’s adaptable nature and how the team management is exploring various batting combinations in their training camp in Bengaluru.
Bangar spoke on the versatility that KL Rahul brings to the side and how the team management is trying out different permutations and combinations in the batting line-up at the training camp in Bengaluru, he said “KL Rahul is a very versatile player, especially when he is played as a batter. Sometimes he has opened the innings, sometimes he has batted at number 5. So, today we got to see a lot of things in this camp.”
“Today, we also saw different pairs of players batting together, like as we have seen in yesterday’s session – Subhman Gill and Rohit Sharma were batting in pairs. Today, KL and Rohit were batting together in pairs. Thus it means the team management might have this thought on their mind that whether KL Rahul can be utilized as an opening batsman. I do not think this is their first option, but obviously, they want to give their best chance for that, or they want to keep an option with them,” he concluded.
Pakistan, India and Nepal are in Group A while Bangladesh, Afghanistan and Sri Lanka are in Group B. The tournament will follow a hybrid model with Pakistan hosting four matches across two venues and Sri Lanka hosting the remaining games.
The six group-stage matches will be followed by the Super Fours beginning September 6.
The final will be played by the top two teams at the end of the Super Fours on September 17 in Colombo.
Indian Squad: Rohit Sharma (captain), Shubman Gill, Virat Kohli, Shreyas Iyer, KL Rahul, Suryakumar Yadav, Tilak Varma, Ishan Kishan, Hardik Pandya (vice-captain), Ravindra Jadeja, Axar Patel, Shardul Thakur, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammad Shami, Mohammed Siraj, Kuldeep Yadav, Prasidh Krishna.
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