Former Indian batsman and cricket expert Sanjay Manjrekar has named his probable playing XI for India’s T20I series against Sri Lanka. There are reports that a supposedly second-string Indian side will be sent to the Island Nation with the main squad remaining in England for the Test series.
Sanjay Manjrekar picked Shikhar Dhawan and Prithvi Shaw as his openers in the T20Is. The duo were brilliant for the Delhi Capitals in the IPL 2021 season and the 55-year-old believes they are absolute no-brainers to walk into India’s XI.
At No.3, Manjrekar backed Suryakumar Yadav, who has been a dependable player for the Mumbai Indians over the years. At No.4 though, the 55-year-old wants to play Ishan Kishan ahead of fellow wicketkeeper Sanju Samson.
This was a surprising call, given the fact that Ishan had a terrible IPL 2021 season and was dropped by MI for a few games. However, Sanjay Manjrekar believes the southpaw has the ability to do justice to the No.4 role, something that he achieved in IPL 2020 by scoring 516 runs for his franchise.
Another selection of his that might raise quite a few eyebrows is that of Manish Pandey at No.5. The veteran Karnataka batsman had his share of chances for the Indian team but couldn’t quite cement his place. He was also dropped by the Sunrisers Hyderabad for a few games in the IPL 2021 season.
“Ishan Kishan will be my wicket-keeper batsman and not Sanju Samson. I would like to give Ishan a go at No.4. Manish Pandey will be my No.5,” Sanjay Manjrekar told ESPNCricinfo.Advertisement
Sanjay Manjrekar backed Hardik Pandya at No.6 to bowl a couple of overs. The 27-year-old has been left out of India’s Test squad and will be itching to prove his credentials as an all-rounder once again.
Sanjay Manjrekar wants India to try some new faces in bowling attack
The 55-year-old has also backed relatively new faces like Rahul Tewatia and Rahul Chahar to make an impact in the T20Is. Both have come into the limelight due to impressive performances in the IPL and the Sri Lanka series could well be their audition for a place in India’s T20 World Cup squad.
Manjrekar backed the experienced pacers in Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Deepak Chahar, but also wants to see young left-arm pacer Chetan Sakariya make his India debut. The youngster was impressive for the Rajasthan Royals and it will be interesting to see how he performs if given an opportunity.