Sanjay Manjrekar, Virat Kohli
Sanjay Manjrekar, Virat Kohli [PC: X]

Last Update on: September 1st, 2023 at 09:32 pm

Former India National Cricket Team batter Sanjay Manjrekar has picked his India playing XI for the high-voltage Asia Cup 2023 clash against the Babar Azam-led Pakistan National Cricket Team.

Rohit Sharma-led India will open their campaign against arch-rivals Pakistan on Saturday, September 2, in the 3rd match of the continental tournament at Pallekele International Cricket Stadium.

The wicketkeeper-batter KL Rahul, who is India’s designated No.5 in ODIs, has been ruled out of the first two fixtures of the tournament and Ishan Kishan will most likely replace him in the team. However, Kishan’s batting position is a headache for the side as he has only got good numbers at the top of the order and his performances in the middle-order have been mediocre.

During a discussion on Star Sports, Manjrekar picked Rohit Sharma, Shubman Gill, and Ishan Kishan as the top 3 and Kohli was demoted to the No.4 position. The next two players in his team were Shreyas Iyer and Hardik Pandya.

“As KL Rahul is not fit, Ishan Kishan will become very useful for a left-right batting combination. However, considering the sort of attack Pakistan have, with Shaheen Shah Afridi and Naseem Shah, India might think that they shouldn’t open with him.

“Playing XI is a slightly easy task. I am assuming that Rohit Sharma, Shubman Gill, and Ishan Kishan will be the top three in whichever order you play them. Then Virat Kohli at No. 4, Shreyas Iyer at No. 5, and Hardik Pandya at No. 6.”

Sanjay Manjrekar Picks India’s Bowling Line-up For Pakistan Clash

Sanjay Manjrekar further named Ravindra Jadeja and Kuldeep Yadav as his two spinners and Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Shami, and Mohammed Siraj as three pacers.

The cricketer-turned-commentator also gave the reason behind not selecting Shardul Thakur for the No.8 spot in the team, saying that comprising on the bowling department for the batting depth wouldn’t be an ideal decision. He elaborated:

“Ravindra Jadeja at No. 7 and then my bowlers, Kuldeep Yadav and three seamers – Mohammed Siraj, Mohammad Shami, and Jasprit Bumrah. We think many times that we should have depth in batting. If you have bowling depth, you don’t need that much batting depth.

“No one thinks that the quality of our bowling is reducing. If you have Kuldeep Yadav, Shami, Siraj and Bumrah along with Jadeja and Hardik Pandya, it is enough bowling. If you think about batting, your bowling depth will reduce and you will be left neither here nor there.”

Sanjay Manjrekar’s preferred Indian XI: Rohit Sharma, Shubman Gill, Ishan Kishan, Virat Kohli, Shreyas Iyer, Hardik Pandya, Ravindra Jadeja, Kuldeep Yadav, Mohammed Siraj, Mohammad Shami, Jasprit Bumrah

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Sonanchal Gautam

A Professional Wrestling And Hip-hop Enthusiast, Who Is Focused On Writing Cricket-related Stuff 6 Days A Week.