After India won the fifth ODI against New Zealand in Wellington, head coach, Ravi Shastri said the regular openers, Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan could be rested for the forthcoming Australia ODIs. Though nothing official has been out on this, Shastri said the management would anyway ask the board to look into this. Now since the case of them getting rest seems likely, there have to be backup openers as well. Meanwhile, Cricket Addictor will bring you five openers India could try during the Australia ODIs.
Five openers India could try during the Australia ODIs
The Karnataka opener made his international debut at the MCG during the boxing day Test itself. In two Tests, he scored successive fifties; letting the world know about his credentials. As the 2019 World Cup is approaching and India looks in dire need of a third opening batsman; testing Mayank against the formidable Aussie bowling could be a better idea.
Yes, Iyer is not a regular opener, but he can play well at any position in the top three. Even when he made his ODI debut against Sri Lanka two years back, he batted at three and scored two fifties in three games. Plus point is, his current form is also pretty good. In the first three matches against England Lions, he scored 133 runs, with 65 being his highest.
The left-handed batsman has been a household name since his SCG hundred. Though Pant didn’t get picked for Australia, New Zealand ODIs, he will play the T20Is against the Kiwis. Meanwhile, the Delhi-lad has to use his chance to press his case for the 2019 World Cup. Also, making him open the innings, in reference to the team management asking for the same, Rishabh Pant could well get slotted up the order during Australia ODIs.
Rahane is perhaps the first choice opener in the absence of Rohit and Dhawan. Though he had been out of the ODI team for a while now, making a comeback at the right time could be all he had wanted. Moreover, in the first three matches against the England Lions, Ajinkya Rahane scored 160 runs, with 91 remaining to be his best. However, if all of this doesn’t fit well with the selectors, considering Rahane’s experience in international cricket could urge the committee to pick him.
Harsha Bhogle had earlier said KL Rahul doesn’t have too many games to stay in the reckoning for a spot in the 2019 World Cup squad. Well, it looks true from every quarter. However, tipped to be a future star, KL Rahul could well be given an extended run in the Australia ODIs despite his poor form. Of late, his performances with the bat were not convincing. He, in the last three matches against England Lions, scored 55 runs, having 41 as his best.
Meanwhile, there are only reports of the opening pair of Rohit and Dhawan getting rested for the Australia ODIs, and no word from any of the officials has been out. Also, the squad for the Australia ODIs could be announced soon.