Former India batsman, Sanjay Manjrekar believes that Shikhar Dhawan has fallen behind Ishan Kishan in the pecking order for the opening position after the youngster blasted England bowlers on his debut in the second T20I in Ahmedabad.
Shikhar Dhawan was dropped from the side after his knock of four runs from 12 balls in the first T20I. Kishan was handed his debut and made the most of it with a 32-ball 56 runs captivating match-winning innings.
Rohit Sharma was rested from the first two T20Is and is likely to slot back into the opening slot for the third game on Tuesday. It would have to be seen who amongst Kishan or KL Rahul, who has scores of 1 and 0 in the two matches, faces the axe.
Sanjay Manjrekar says that while it is a happy problem to have that there are multiple quality players fighting for the same spot – however, this also adds pressure on the players. He opines that Dhawan and Kishan have taken steps in opposite directions as far as getting selected for the T20 World Cup squad is concerned, while KL Rahul needs to get back to form.
“Rohit Sharma will certainly come back at the top. This(Competiton for places) is good news for Indian cricket, but you can imagine the pressure players must be feeling. They need to deliver in almost every game now.
“Someone who has taken a backseat in this race(for the opening slot) is Shikhar Dhawan. Ishan Kishan has taken a leap forward. KL Rahul will have to show some form. So it is like musical chairs.” Sanjay Manjrekar told ESPNCricinfo.
KL Rahul must be feeling the pressure: Sanjay Manjrekar
The 55-year-old is left astonished by the fact that KL Rahul’s position as the opener in India’s T20 eleven, after his own couple of failures and Kishan’s one knock, has become vulnerable. Not to forget, before the series started captain Virat Kohli had declared Rahul as the first-choice opener over Dhawan to partner Rohit Sharma. The upcoming season of the IPL will be crucial for both Rahul and Dhawan to lay claim on the opening slot.
“Something which astonishes me is that a player who seems like a superstar just two weeks back suddenly could be vulnerable. That thing is happening with KL Rahul. He has now seen two failures. If you just go on his last two performances, he must be feeling the pressure,” Sanjay Manjrekar asserted.