With India’s blue-chip stock for the white-ball format which includes the likes of Cheteshwar Pujara and Ajinkya Rahane failing to make a mark, is it time that we look beyond these two batters? Should these two senior cricketers be backed? Or should we replace these veterans immediately? These are some of the questions that captain Kohli needs to ponder upon, isn’t it? As a critic, I would say that these individuals need to be backed. Considering the kind of mettle and character that these players have previously shown, the team needs to stick around with them. However, if Kohli and Co. Still intend to replace them with middle-order batsmen, who are the ones in contention? Here’s a look: –
Hanuma Vihari: –
The best contender among all the players has to be Hanuma Vihari. Another blue-chip guy for the red ball format Vihari has the technique for a middle-order batsman. He has the ability to score quick runs when required and has the temperament to bat with the tail. He has previously shown his capabilities in the West Indies and Australia. Previously batting at number 7, Vihari hasn’t yet shown his true colors! His mettle can only be fully explored if he is given a chance in the prime middle order.
Shreyas Iyer: –
Not the most appropriate red ball commodity, but definitely a potent one is Shreyas Iyer! He has previously scored a double ton against Australia A in one of India A’s tour games. Shreyas has a good red-ball average while representing Mumbai in the Ranji Trophy. The skill and determination required for playing the longest format are possessed by this lad from Mumbai. Shreyas has more than fulfilled the void at number 4 in the ODI format and if given the chance, he will perform with the red ball as well. The long format propensities of patience and physical fitness too support his case.
Suryakumar Yadav: –
Another white ball commodity, which is making a case in the red-ball format is SKY. I know that it is too early concerning the fact that SKY has just debuted at the international level. But we can’t ignore the fact that he is a 30-year-old experienced campaigner. He averages 44 for Mumbai in the Ranji Trophy while playing in the middle order. From illustrious cover drives to proficient unorthodox shots, Surya has it all. With years of experience in the Indian Circuit, Surya is all set to go for the red cherry.
To conclude, I would say that Pujara and Jinx, however, deserve at least 3 more games. These are players of supreme character and have helped the team in periods of crisis. Now it is the team’s responsibility to back them. We can never forget Pujara, “The Wall” from Gabba. And “Fighter” Jinx from the Melbourne test.