SL vs IND | Will pick Kishan ahead of Samson as WK for the series, opines Sanjay Manjrekar 

Indian cricket expert Sanjay Manjrekar has batted for the inclusion of young Ishan Kishan over Sanju Samson for the wicketkeeping role in the series against Sri Lanka. He also expressed his happiness over the selection of ‘game-changer’ Kuldeep Yadav, who has suffered a lean patch of late.

There has never been a doubt about the talent of Jharkhand wicketkeeper-batsman Ishan Kishan, but his inconsistency was the reason that Rishabh Pant graduated to higher levels rapidly as opposed to him. However, he turned a leaf with the 2020 edition of the IPL, where he stood out in the middle-order for the champions Mumbai Indians and made giant strides.

His performances earned him the India call-up soon for the home T20Is against England and there he took the series by storm in his debut game with an impressive fifty. He might have failed in the 2021 IPL on some difficult Chepauk tracks but is likely to make his ODI debut against Sri Lanka given how well he did in the last series. Sanjay Manjrekar has also thrown his weight behind Kishan’s selection over Sanju Samson for the upcoming series.

“Ishan Kishan is my choice, purely because I am going for the more consistent batter. In ODI cricket keeping is not as crucial as it is in Test matches, in T20s it is not that vital, so you are really making a choice of a better batter,” Manjrekar told PTI, reported TOI.

“Samson is incredible when he gets going, there is nobody better than him but consistency is a very important criteria for me and that is where I would like to back somebody like Ishan Kishan before I look at Sanju Samson,” he added.

Kuldeep Yadav’s form has been poor for quite a while now. There were chances that he might not even be picked for the white-ball series against Sri Lanka after his below-par displays against England but he did get the nod. The Indian cricket expert reckoned that it’s a good move to include a ‘game-changer’ like Kuldeep Yadav.

“I am actually very happy with the way the selection has been made. It is nice to see that Kuldeep Yadav has been brought back. In the last year or in a couple of years, he lost his place. In the Indian white ball team, there was a time he was a game-changer along with (Yuzvendra) Chahal. It is nice that the selectors have given him the opportunity to stake his claim, because he hardly plays for IPL.”

The former Indian cricketer also feels that Hardik Pandya can walk into the team as a batter even if he doesn’t bowl. Though Hardik did roll over his arms consistently in the T20Is against England.

“I am also reading reports that he has started bowling as well. His bowling, all the more-better for India. He has shown that he has the ability to walk into the team as a pure batter in white-ball cricket.”

Suryakumar Yadav had put up an impressive show in his debut series against England and is likely to be key for India in the upcoming series. Manjrekar asserted that there are good chances of Surya batting at 3 for India in the T20 World Cup.

“Yes, I think he (Surya) is one of the front-runners, especially with the news coming out that Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli are going to be India’s openers. There could be a number three slot open for me,” Manjrekar said.

“I don’t know what plan they have with (KL) Rahul, there certainly is a place for someone like Suryakumar Yadav. I have rarely seen somebody bat like that in the IPL for the whole season and even more, the kind of batsmanship we have seen.

“And makes him an ideal number three, he can hit good balls for fours, certainly one of the options,” he added.

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