Renowned cricket expert Sanjay Manjrekar revealed his Indian playing XI for the second Test against England at Lord’s and picked Ravichandran Ashwin over all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja. He also left out Shardul Thakur from his XI and picked specialist batsman Hanuma Vihari to bat at No.6.
There was a lot of debate about Ravichandran Ashwin’s exclusion from India’s playing XI in the first Test, leaving one and all surprised. He has been simply phenomenal in 2021 and was supposed to play a key part in the five-match Test series against England. But India’s combination came out with flying colours in the first Test with Shardul Thakur picking crucial wickets while Ravindra Jadeja also made an excellent contribution at No.7 to tilt the game in India’s favour.
However, former Indian batsman, Sanjay Manjrekar doesn’t seem too impressed with India’s combination in the first Test and suggested two changes to the side for the Lord’s Test that commences from August 12. Despite a well-made fifty from the bat of Ravindra Jadeja, Manjrekar decided to leave him out of the team. He stated that Rishabh Pant should bat at No.7 while Hanuma Vihari can bat at No.6.
“I feel if Rishabh Pant comes at No. 7, he can prove even more dangerous and can play very well with the tail-enders. I am playing Vihari because in the last Test match he played, he batted for 2.5 hours to save India,” Manjrekar was quoted as saying to Sony Sports, reported CricTracker.
He wasn’t pleased with Ashwin’s axing and reckoned that he has better chances of taking wickets on a good pitch. He also added that he would prefer Mohammed Siraj over Ishant Sharma, given his ability to take wickets.
“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,” he said.
Sanjay Manjrekar’s preferred XI: KL Rahul, Rohit Sharma, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli, Ajinkya Rahane, Hanuma Vihari, Rishabh Pant, Ravi Ashwin, Mohammed Shami, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Siraj