Ahead of the Boxing Day Test against Australia in Melbourne, former Indian cricketer and analyst Sanjay Manjrekar has suggested India can promote Cheteshwar Pujara up to the order to open the innings to solve their opening puzzle.
Prithvi Shaw’s consistent failures with the bat, especially in the first Test where he managed 0 and 4, and Virat Kohli’s departure in the middle of the ongoing Test series in Australia has forced the Indian team management to deal with numerous challenges to find the balance in the team.
Firstly, India is trying to finalize their openers for the crucial second Test with Mayank Agarwal confirmed to open, but there is no clarity over who will be his partner whether be it KL Rahul or Shubman Gill – the two names are making rounds to replace Shaw as an opener.
They will also have to fill the void left by Kohli and injured pacer Mohammad Shami apart from solving the problem with the opening slot to make the right team combination in order to come back in the ongoing Test series against Australia.
Well, Gill's name made waves as a suitable replacement for Shaw as an opener while Rahul might also make it to the roster to fill Kohli’s place or open the innings with his childhood buddy Agarwal at MCG.
Amidst the debate, Sanjay Manjrekar has proposed Pujara’s name for the opener’s role for the MCG Test and asked the fans to opine on his suggestion on Wednesday (December 23.
He tweeted, “I have batted no 3 overseas. You are invariably going in early, facing bowlers with their tails up from ball no 1. Anyone for Pujara opening? To make his life easier? + better chance of not losing a quick wkt & opposition being on top early. Tell me your top 4 next Test.”
Noteworthy, Pujara, who is famous for his patience and the ability to stick to the crease for long sessions, is India’s biggest hope on the tour and has had a fixed spot in the batting lineup at no.3 in the Test team for years, but given India’s woes at the top order, Manjrekar's suggestion isn’t a bad idea.
The fans felt the same way and many of them agreed with Manjrekar's suggestion that Pujara should open the innings at MCG.
Check here how fans reacted: