The much-anticipated clash between India and Pakistan in the Asia Cupis set to kick off in Kandy on September 2.In recent discussions with Star Sports, Sanjay Manjrekar, a prominent cricket analyst, and former Indian cricketerSanjay Bangar engaged in a detailed analysis of India’s batting strategies and the adaptability of its players.
The experts highlighted the pivotal nature of India’s top-order strength and emphasised the critical role of preserving wickets early on to pave the way for a triumphant outcome.
Manjrekar particularly stressed the importance of carrying over the skills from Test cricket to the start of a 50-over match. He also praised the defensive capabilities exhibited by India’s top three batterls – Kohli, Rohit and Gill. These players’ ability to anchor the innings and avoid early dismissals holds the key to India’s success in the upcoming encounter.
Manjrekar spoke on the strength of the top order of India and how important it is for them not to lose early wickets to see the match out, he said “See, fortunately for India, number one, two, and three, when Virat bats at number three, they are three very good Test batters. And you might talk about 50 overs being a one-day match and white-ball cricket and all that, but the start of a 50 overs game is not like a T20 match. I think there are some serious Test cricket skills needed, and then Rohit Sharma got these five hundreds in the last World Cup. I remember him respecting the bowling in the first 10 overs. And these three guys – Gill, Rohit, and Virat – who have excellent credentials as defensive Test batters, that is the game they will have to bring. If they do not lose early wickets, then it is just their game.”
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Meanwhile, Bangar shed light on KL Rahul’s adaptable nature and how the team management is exploring various batting combinations in their training camp in Bengaluru.
Bangar spoke on the versatility that KL Rahul brings to the side and how the team management is trying out different permutations and combinations in the batting line-up at the training camp in Bengaluru, he said “KL Rahul is a very versatile player, especially when he is played as a batter. Sometimes he has opened the innings, sometimes he has batted at number 5. So, today we got to see a lot of things in this camp.”
“Today, we also saw different pairs of players batting together, like as we have seen in yesterday’s session – Subhman Gill and Rohit Sharma were batting in pairs. Today, KL and Rohit were batting together in pairs. Thus it means the team management might have this thought on their mind that whether KL Rahul can be utilized as an opening batsman. I do not think this is their first option, but obviously, they want to give their best chance for that, or they want to keep an option with them,” he concluded.
Pakistan, India and Nepal are in Group A while Bangladesh, Afghanistan and Sri Lanka are in Group B. The tournament will follow a hybrid model with Pakistan hosting four matches across two venues and Sri Lanka hosting the remaining games.
(With ANI inputs)