Former batsman Sanjay Manjrekar has opined Mayank Agarwal getting dropped from the Indian team for the Sydney Test shows the think-tank have opted to reject players at the drop of a hat rather than retaining them with a long-term perspective.
During a discussion on the Sony Sports network, Sanjay Manjrekar was asked if it was a no-brainer that Rohit Sharma came back into the Indian playing XI as an opener.
He responded it was always going to be the case, considering the Mumbaikar's excellent record as a Test opener in India's last home season.
"Rohit Sharma does not have bad numbers at the No.6 position, where he has played 25 innings. But his recent exposure in Test matches has been as an opener and there he has a very good average," said Manjrekar
However, Sanjay Manjrekar highlighted Rohit Sharma is yet to ply his trade as an opener away from home and it would be a test for him.
"But he has never opened in overseas conditions. He was not there in New Zealand and last time when he was here in Australia, he was playing down the order. So, it will have to be seen how he plays against the swinging ball," added Manjrekar
Manjrekar expressed disappointment at Mayank Agarwal getting the axe and stated the Indian team management is too hasty in dropping players. He added Agarwal should have continued to open, with Shubman Gill playing in the middle-order.
"But the person they have dropped, it has again become a tactic of rejecting players and not selecting. If it was upto me, I would have kept Mayank Agarwal in the team because he is a young player, has been in good form. I would have kept Shubman Gill down the order with Rohit Sharma as an opener," stated Sanjay Manjrekar
"I would have dropped Hanuma Vihari" - Sanjay Manjrekar
Sanjay Manjrekar replied in the affirmative when asked if he would have left out Hanuma Vihari in such a scenario. He reasoned Mayank Agarwal has been a prolific run-getter in the last couple of years and shouldn't have been dropped after a few failures.
"If you see Mayank Agarwal's record, a player who scored thousand runs last season, you can't keep him out of the team after six failures. And he is a stock who will keep growing, he is young," said Manjrekar
While acknowledging it is a tough call, Manjrekar signed off by stating he would have preferred to retain Agarwal ahead of Vihari.
"We have seen the capabilities of Hanuma Vihari and how far he can raise his peak. If you consider that, it is a difficult decision, but I would have dropped Hanuma Vihari," concluded Sanjay Manjrekar
Mayank Agarwal certainly had a bright start to his Test career, reaching the 1000-run mark in just his 12th match. But the Indian team management might not have had any option but to drop him for the Sydney Test. Besides the lack of runs from his willow in the two Tests against Australia so far, he has not looked comfortable in the middle.
Published 07 Jan 2021, 08:54 IST