Former Indian cricketer and Cricket Pundit –Sanjay Manjrekar is highly impressed with the fighting spirit shown in the final Test of the Freedom Series by Virat Kohli and his team in South Africa.
However, he is not surprised by the Men in Blues’ amazing 5-1 win in the six-match One Day International against the Proteas, saying he is well aware of India’s dominance in the One-day cricket.
Manjrekar wrote in his column for Times of India, “There is a lot of optimism around Indian cricket at the moment. That fighting spirit shown in the last Test on a dangerous pitch despite having lost the series got a lot of admiration for Virat (Kohli) and his boys from the fans. Their dominance in the One-day series that followed does not surprise me. India are a very good 50-overs side and unlike in Tests, in all conditions.”
Commenting on India’s spin duo –Yuzvendra Chahal and Kuldeep Yadav, who together picked up 33 wickets and played key role in India's success in the ODI series, Manjrekar wrote, “The two young wrist-spinners have made such an incredible difference that this Indian side is virtually unrecognizable from the one that played last year. Now there are as many bowling heroes as there are batting ones, a rare scenario indeed in Indian cricket.”
Speaking about Indian batters, the commentator said, “In Rohit (Sharma), Shikhar (Dhawan) and Virat, India have a pretty good top three. In (Hardik) Pandya, they have a good floater and big hitter. Search should be on though for at least two middle-order batsmen who can play the modern 360-degree game. Somehow, India are still a bit traditional when they bat in T20s. To set and chase down massive targets, India need a bit of audacity in the batting. And yes, maybe a couple of seam bowlers too as back up to Bhuvi (Bhuvneshwar Kumar) and (Jasprit) Bumrah. I like the look of Jaydev Unadkat.”
Manjrekar signed off, “This team is showing potential to come out with more merit than earlier teams in this ongoing long overseas phase of international cricket. In between these major foreign tours, they will have some respite though in the form of cricket in Asia like the Nidahas trophy in Sri Lanka to mark 70 years of Sri Lankan independence. This will be a T20 triangular featuring the hosts, Bangladesh and of course India. I see this tournament as a great chance for India to plug a few holes that don’t seem very obvious when you are winning but are there nevertheless. With these holes filled India should be watertight as a team, and be formidable in all formats which is every nation’s dream.”