Sanjay Manjrekar wants India to make the most of today's dead rubber T20 World Cup match against Namibia. He advised three changes to the team's starting line-up, saying that the only way this match can take Indian cricket forward is if it gives chances to players who haven't played much in the tournament.
Speaking in a preview video for Dafa News, Sanjay Manjrekar cited a statement by skipper Virat Kohli where he talked about finding motivation in every international match. The former cricketer remarked:
"Once Virat Kohli at the toss said that in any international match that he plays, he finds some motivation, some incentive. I believe that despite this match being a mere formality, India still got to look at making the most of it. The way they can do it and use this match to take Indian cricket forward is by playing the guys who haven't played so much and resting the guys who we have seen a lot."
For his three changes, Sanjay Manjrekar asked India to bring back pacer Bhuvneshwar Kumar who looked at sea in the first match against Pakistan. Manjrekar said India need to see if he still has something to offer in the shortest format. He then batted for the inclusion of leg-spinner Rahul Chahar and Ishan Kishan in place of Mohammed Shami and vice-captain Rohit Sharma.
Sanjay Manjrekar added:
"So the immediate thought would be Bhuvneshwar Kumar coming back in just to look at whether he's still got something left to offer in T20 cricket in T20s and may rest somebody like a Bumrah. Mohammed Shami can be rested as well. Rahul Chahar, unfortunately, hasn't got a single game, he should be played. Ishan Kishan gets a match and I would like to see Rohit Sharma being rested."
If India go ahead with these three changes, they'll also have to leave out one of Ravindra Jadeja and Ravichandran Ashwin for an extra fast-bowler, otherwise the team will be left with four spinners and just one genuine pacer. Here, Shardul Thakur, who was dropped for the last match against Scotland, can get a look-in.
"That match gave me a lot of confidence" - Sanjay Manjrekar recalls his breakthrough series
Explaining how dead rubbers can help youngsters kickstart their careers, Sanjay Manjrekar recalled his third international ODI series against New Zealand in 1988. He said his 69-ball 52 in an inconsequential match and the free hand given by his skipper Dilip Vengsarkar gave him a crucial confidence boost.
Sanjay Manjrekar said:
"I remember in my career when I started for India and was trying to establish myself in white-ball cricket. We had a seven ODI match series against New Zealand and I remember Dilip Vengsarkar the captain saying 'Don't worry about the team result. We have won the series, just go out there and get some runs for yourself. So I can push for your case in the team.'
"And I got a 50 in that match. People would have forgotten it immediately, 48 hours later India won the series, but that match I still remember now... gave me a lot of confidence as an ODI player. So this is how the match that we are going to see got to be used."
Today's match will begin at 7:30 PM IST in Dubai.
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