Team India had to settle for a draw in the first Test of the ongoing five-match series against England after the fifth and final day got washed out at Trent Bridge in Nottingham. The bowling unit of both the teams did an exceptional job, and the same would be expected in the second Test that starts on August 12 at Lords Cricket Ground in London.
Ahead of the upcoming fixture, former India international Sanjay Manjrekar has picked his India XI for the second Test. During a chat on Sony Sports, Manjrekar opted for the same top order that played the series opener.
Manjrekar went with KL Rahul and Rohit Sharma as openers, followed by Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli and Ajinkya Rahane.
“Rohit Sharma and KL Rahul will be my openers. At No. 3, I will want to play Pujara. We didn’t get to see a lot of his batting in the second innings, but I still want to play him. Then Virat Kohli will be No. 4, Ajinkya Rahane No. 5,” said Manjrekar.
The cricketer-turned-commentator did few changes by including Hanuma Vihari and Ravichandran Ashwin into the mix. Manjrekar opined that since some batters are out of form so Vihari should come in as another specialist batsman, and Rishabh Pant will move to seventh number as he can play well with tailenders.
“I will like to get a specialist batsman at No.6, some depth in the batting because two or three batsmen are out of form, and the ball moves a little as well in England. I feel if Rishabh Pant comes at No. 7, he can prove even more dangerous and can play very well with the tailenders. I am playing Vihari because, in the last Test match he played, he batted for 2.5 hours to save India,” explained Manjrekar.
The 56-year-old picked Ashwin in place of Ravindra Jadeja as the lone spinner. Manjrekar reckoned that the Tamil Nadu cricketer was wrongly dropped in the first Test, and he has greater chances of taking wickets than Jadeja. Manjrekar made no changes in the fast bowling department.
“I will like to bring in Ashwin, who I feel was dropped wrongly in the first match. I am bringing a bowler who has greater chances of taking wickets on a good pitch. I will play three seamers – Shami, Bumrah. I don’t know if Ishant is fit, but I will go with Siraj because he has the capability to take five wickets,” added Manjrekar.
Sanjay Manjrekar’s India playing XI for the second Test:
Virat Kohli (c), KL Rahul, Rohit Sharma, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane, Hanuma Vihari, Rishabh Pant (wk), Ravichandran Ashwin, Mohammed Siraj, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Shami.