Former India cricketer Sanjay Manjrekar believes India will have to find a batsman like Suresh Raina if KL Rahul has to open in ODI cricket. Manjrekar, who turned commentator after retirement, was a notable absentee during India's first ODI against South Africa at Dharmashala. It was later revealed that the former batsman was dropped from BCCI's commentary panel and hence was absent for the game. In the meantime, Sanjay Manjrekar took to Twitter to engage with his followers.
Sanjay Manjrekar took to Twitter to engage with his followers in a Q&A session after the former cricketer was dropped from the BCCI commentary panel. When asked about whether KL Rahul is fit for the No.5 role in the longer run, he said that KL Rahul was perfect for the role in the near future. Sanjay Manjrekar added that India needs a player in the mould of Suresh Raina or Yuvraj Singh for KL Rahul to return to being an opener.
For the moment he is the right fit. But we must keep looking for a Raina and Yuvi kind of batsman when Rahul eventually moves to the top. https://t.co/ZNg3Lc2X1c— Sanjay Manjrekar (@sanjaymanjrekar) March 23, 2020
Suresh Raina was among Team India's mainstays in limited-overs cricket since his debut in 2005. An explosive left-handed batsman who could bowl part-time spin, the CSK batsman formed a famed partnership with then India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni leading India's charge in the final overs of the game. Suresh Raina has featured in 226 ODIs, scoring more than 5000 runs at an average of more than 35 with a strike rate of 93. Suresh Raina will feature for CSK in the upcoming IPL 2020 and would look to give himself a chance at making the T20 World Cup squad.
KL Rahul, who predominantly opens the batting for Karnataka and Kings XI Punjab, was shifted to No.5 after Rishabh Pant's repeated failures with the bat. Rahul has amassed two half-centuries and a century in just four matches in the middle-order and is set to continue as India's designated wicketkeeper-batsman as MS Dhoni continues to remain unavailable for selection since the World Cup semi-final loss against New Zealand. KL Rahul will return to the top order for Kings XI Punjab in the IPL and will also lead the franchise in the upcoming edition.