The Indian pace attack has been one of world’s strongest in recent times
Former Indian cricketer Sanjay Manjrekar, while lauding India’s red-ball success overseas, has drawn parallels with the historic Pakistani unit. According to the veteran, the augmentation of ‘world-class’ pace batteries is a major reason for India’s recent triumphs in the overseas nation.
Following two successive series wins Down Under, the Virat Kohli-led side are currently leading 2-1 in an unfinished five-match series in England. India ended the year 2021 with a remarkable Test win at Centurion for the very first time. Along with the prevailing unbeaten streak of 14 Test series victories at home, India have continued their dominance away from their own backyard as well.
Manjrekar feels that India have been able to achieve that in red-ball cricket on the back of having three outstanding seamers in their ranks. He found this to be similar to what Pakistan used to have during their golden period in the 90’s era. With legends like Wasim Akram, Waqar Younis and Shoaib Akhtar among a few others, Pakistan had one of the most fearful bowling lineups in Test cricket.
While crediting India for their successful times in Test cricket owing to their seamers, Manjrekar told ESPNcricinfo:
“One thing that has changed in recent 5-6 years for the Indian team, which has been a rare instance for India. India’s overseas success comes because India now has the luxury of having three world class seam bowlers. It has had a huge impact.”
“If you look at the history of Test cricket, earlier when Pakistan used to win outside their country, they too had 3 world class seamers. And now India find themselves in the same condition. These are good signs for Indian cricket.”
The trio of Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Shami and Mohammad Siraj have been terrific for India. Jointly, they also took 16 out of 20 wickets in their recent win against South Africa in Centurion.
“The more chances Rahane gets, the fewer chances the other guys will have.” – Manjrekar feels management should ponder over Vihari and Iyer
England v India – First LV= Insurance Test Match: Day Three
Manjrekar previewed the upcoming second Test between South Africa and India with ESPNcricinfo. The visitors won the first encounter comfortably and took a 1-0 lead in the three-match Test series.
One particular choice that India went with in the Boxing Day game was to back the under-firing Ajinkya Rahane. The Mumbai-born middle-order batter looked confident in the first innings and scored 48 runs. However, much to his disappointment, he played a reckless shot and got out in the second innings.
As per Manjrekar, the team management should also consider Hanuma Vihari and Shreyas Iyer. Both players were sidelined in favor of the experienced campaigner in Rahane. While acknowledging that pressure may mount on Rahane to keep his place in the side, the 56-year old said:
“The team management is backing Rahane. India have won the first Test, and Rahane scored 48 runs in the first innings as well. So he might get another shot. But they should also think about Vihari and Shreyas Iyer. The more chances Rahane gets, the fewer chances the other guys will have. So this needs to be discussed.”
“Pujara and Kohli’s form is understandable and they will get opportunities. But Rahane’s poor form has been going on for some time now. So there’ll be pressure on Rahane to keep his place in the side.
It remains to be seen which playing XI Rahul Dravid and co. choose to go with in the second Test against South Africa. The Johannesburg Test will begin tomorrow (January 3).