IND vs SA | A few little tweaks can make middle order look a little more wholesome, opines Sanjay Manjrekar


Former India cricketer Sanjay Manjrekar has said that a few little tweaks should be done to make the middle order look wholesome suggesting addition of Suryakumar Yadav in the playing XI. Manjrekar further added that the Indian batting unit looked a little bit short in the first ODI in Paarl.

South Africa have been performing pretty well against India. India were considered favorites for Tests but the hosts won the three match series. Now, they have made a winning start to the ODI series winning the first ODI by 31 runs. India’s middle order has been a sign of worry for them and once again a middle order collapse cost them the fixture. 

Chasing a target of 297, India lost their first wicket on a total of 46 as KL Rahul was dismissed on 12 runs. Shikhar Dhawan and Virat Kohli then stitched a partnership of 92 runs for the second wicket. Dhawan was dismissed on 79 and Kohli followed him soon to the pavilion after scoring a half-century. The team then lost wickets in regular intervals and they ended up 31 runs short of the target. 

Reflecting on the loss, former India cricketer Sanajay Manjrekar believes that a few changes might make the middle-order look complete suggesting the inclusion of Suryakumar Yadav in the squad. He also said that middle-order is looking a little short. 

“I’ve maintained that India’s middle-order looked a little short on batting when you have somebody like a Rishabh Pant batting at 5 and a Venky Iyer in a very unfamiliar role. You know, for a newcomer to bat down at No. 6 on a pitch that’s going to be dry and getting slow further,” Manjrekar told ESPNcricinfo after the game. 

“There wasn’t much of a threat down the order so I thought they should have made a place for somebody like Suryakumar Yadav… I guess a few little tweaks will have to be done to make sure that the middle looks a little more wholesome.”

Earlier in the match South Africa lost three wickets early batting first. They were on 68/3 but centuries from Temba Bavuma and Rassie van der Dussen scored centuries which helped the team score a decent total. Bavuma scored 110 runs while Dussen played a knock of unbeaten 129 runs.

Manjrekar opined that India were in trouble as soon as they allowed the opposition to score a total more than 250 on a pitch difficult for batsmen.

“Just far too many runs to chase, especially in a day game where the pitch wasn’t going the get easier for the batters chasing and the ball wasn’t going to get wet because of the dew… There was some hope at the start but somebody had to carry the bat through the innings. Shikhar Dhawan got out after being set, Virat Kohli as well. It was always going to be difficult… I think India lost the game when they allowed the opposition to go beyond 250,” he concluded. 

The second ODI will be played on January 21 in Paarl.