Sanjay Manjrekar Names Injured Mohammed Siraj's Replacement, Picks His India XI For 3rd Test Against South Africa
Sanjay Manjrekar made two changes to the Indian side that lost the second Test to South Africa by 7 wickets at the Wanderers in Johannesburg.
Former India batter Sanjay Manjrekar selected his India XI for the third and final Test against South Africa at Newlands in Cape Town, which begins on Tuesday. Manjrekar made two changes to the Indian side that lost the second Test to South Africa by 7 wickets at the Wanderers in Johannesburg. One of them was a natural one in the form of regular captain Virat Kohli. The prolific right-hander had missed the previous match due to a back spasm. KL Rahul had to lead India in his absence but Kohli, in a virtual press conference on Monday, confirmed that he is fully fit for the series decider in Cape Town.
Manjrekar decided to stick with the opening pair of KL Rahul and Mayank Agarwal despite the latter not being able to convert his starts into a substantial score.
"Mayank Agarwal hasn't got a big score but he will be my opener along with KL Rahul," Manjrekar told ESPNCricinfo.
The former India cricketer said veteran Cheteshwar Pujara deserves another chance after the fighting fifty he scored in India's second innings at the Wanderers.
"Pujara comes back at No.3. I think he deserves that after getting a good fifty. No.4 will be Virat Kohli," Manjrekar added.
There was "turmoil" inside his head to select India's No.5, said Manjrekar but he finally decided to go with the experience of Ajinkya Rahane.
"At No.5 with a heavy heart, I have to say that I will have to leave out Hanuma Vihari to accommodate Virat Kohli. There was a turmoil in my head whether Rahane should be dropped despite the fifty as the lean patch has lasted too long but Rahane it is at No.5," he added.
Manjrekar backed Rishabh Pant to continue as India's wicketkeeper-batter and he also picked Ravichandran Ashwin at No.7.
"I'm a Pant backer, so he will be at No.6. Ashwin at No.7. Don't forget his 40 od in the first innings of the 2nd Test. Plus, I don't think he was adequately used (as a bowler). He didn't bowl badly," Manjrekar explained.
There were no surprises as Manjrekar went in with Shardul Thakur, Mohammed Shami and Jasprit Bumrah as his three seamers. The former right-hander picked Ishant Sharma as India's fourth seamer in place of the injured Mohammed Siraj.
"No.8 will be Shardul Thakur for me, No.9 Mohammed Shami followed by Bumrah and No.11 will be Ishant Sharma," he added.
Here is Sanjay Manjrekar's India XI for 3rd Test: Mayank Agarwal, KL Rahul, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli, Ajinkya Rahane, Rishabh Pant, R Ashwin, Shardul Thakur, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Shami, Ishant Sharma