Mohinder Amarnath wants Dhawan back with Pujara in lower middle-order
By Aditya Pratap - Jan 23, 2018 3:56 pm
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Former Indian cricketer Mohinder Amarnath believes Team India has to find the stability in their batting order, which can be brought by sending Cheteshwar Pujara to lower down the order. He also voices for Shikhar Dhawan’s inclusion in the team for Johannesburg Test, where India will be fighting to avoid a whitewash.

India has already conceded the series after first two Tests at Cape Town and Centurion, where Indian batting-order let them down to chase the target in the fourth innings.

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“The batsmen are not handling the South Africa fast bowlers with the best of techniques at least where their footwork is concerned. When playing on a faster track, you need to move early, but most of the batsmen are moving the same way they would on a sub-continent track. It works at home but on faster tracks, you have to move early and get into position: you should be on the move when playing against fast bowlers on faster tracks,” quoted Amarnath.

He further went to question the regular chopping and changing in the playing XI. It is notable that current skipper Virat Kohli is yet to field the same team in two consecutive Test matches since he took the reins from MSD.

“There has been too much chopping and changing, and while that may work at home, it’s different when playing abroad on a different kind of soil and attack. They have to do something different to compete with South Africa. Perhaps a slight change in the batting order might work,” former cricketer added.

“We all remember the famous India-Australia Test at Kolkata when Laxman came in at No. 3 in the second innings, and look what happened! All it took was one change and India made a dramatic turnaround in the match. It just might work again, who knows?”

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Talking about the ideal team combination, he urged Pujara to bat lower in the batting order, which can bring stability in the crisis. “I would like to see Shikhar Dhawan back in the side, opening with Murali, with KL Rahul or Rohit Sharma (who, despite having a rough time of it, may be kept in the XI) at No. 3, and Pujara or Rahane at Nos. 5/6. Pujara is a fantastic player and but at the moment I think the player at the crucial No. 3 spot should be scoring briskly and playing his shots from the beginning,” quoted Amarnath.

The final Test of this Freedom series will commence from Wednesday in Johannesburg’s Wanderers Stadium, which has prepared a green dish for India on the special request of skipper Faf du Plessis.