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Sanjay Manjrekar opens up on India’s opening conundrum in SA T20Is
By SMCS - Dec 8, 2023 1:40 pm
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Sanjay Manjrekar said that Team India might have to bat Shubman Gill at No. 3 as they would want to continue with the opening pair of Ruturaj Gaikwad and Yashasvi Jaiswal in the upcoming T20I series against South Africa. The Indian team will take on the Proteas in three T20Is, with the first game to be played in Durban on Sunday, December 10. Gill, Gaikwad and Jaiswal are the three specialist openers in the squad, with Ishan Kishan an additional option as well.

Team India
Team India

During a discussion on the Star Sports show ‘Game Plan’, Manjrekar said: “Will India think of disturbing this opening combination of Ruturaj Gaikwad and Yashasvi Jaiswal? However, Shubman Gill has that track record. My compromise would be Jaiswal and Ruturaj Gaikwad to continue and Shubman Gill at No. 3. I will bat at Suryakumar Yadav at No. 4. Then you have got Tilak Varma, Rinku Singh and Shreyas Iyer – that’s your batting order. There is tremendous depth. How do I fit in Ishan Kishan? I am struggling.”

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However, the team will have a selection dilemma while choosing their playing XI for the T20Is against South Africa when seniors like Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli, along with the injured Hardik Pandya, are back in the mix in the shortest format as well. Irfan Pathan also echoed the same with Sanjay Manjrekar’s views that Shubman Gill could bat at No. 3 as well.

Shubman Gill
Shubman Gill

“If you have three options as youngsters who can open the innings, that will be fantastic going forward, especially in South Africa. If you lose an early wicket, you need to make sure that the guy coming in has good experience of playing against the new ball. So you can have Shubman Gill at No. 3. At No. 4, I will have Shreyas Iyer. Then obviously Suryakumar Yadav will come at No. 5 and then Rinku Singh. Unfortunately, Tilak Varma will have to miss out. Ishan Kishan also misses out because if he is batting down the order, I will have Jitesh Sharma as the wicketkeeper,” he concluded.