Sanjay Manjrekar backs Suryakumar Yadav to bat at No. 3 for India in T20 World Cup

Former India cricketer Sanjay Manjrejar
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Former India cricketer Sanjay Manjrejar (Photo/AFP)

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Former India cricketer Sanjay Manjrejar has backed Suryakumar Yadav to bat at No.

Former India cricketer Sanjay Manjrejar has backed Suryakumar Yadav to bat at No. 3 for India in the T20 World Cup, provided Virat Kohli opens with Rohit Sharma.

Originally scheduled to be held in India, the T20 World Cup has been shifted to Oman and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) after the COVID-19 second wave struck India recently. The tournament is set to take place from October 17 to November 14.

"Yes, I think he (Surya) is one of the front-runners, especially with the news coming out that Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli are going to be India's openers. There could be a number three slot open for me," Manjrekar was quoted by India Today, as saying during a virtual interaction.

Kohli and Rohit opened for the first time in the fifth Twenty20 International (T20I) of the home five-match series against England earlier this year, sharing a 94-run stand.

"I don't know what plan they have with (KL) Rahul, there certainly is a place for someone like Suryakumar Yadav. I have rarely seen somebody bat like that in the IPL for the whole season and even more, the kind of batsmanship we have seen. And makes him an ideal number three, he can hit good balls for fours, certainly one of the options," Manjrekar added further.

Speaking of the upcoming series against Sri Lanka, Majrekar has picked Ishan Kishan ahead of Sanju Samson as India's first-choice 'keeper.

"Ishan Kishan is my choice, purely because I am going for the more consistent batter. In ODI cricket keeping is not as crucial as it is in Test matches, in T20s it is not that vital, so you are really making a choice of a better batter. Samson is incredible when he gets going, there is nobody better than him but consistency is a very important criteria for me and that is where I would like to back somebody like Ishan Kishan before I look at Sanju Samson," the 55-year-old cricketer-turned-commentator explained.

Majrekar also said that the Sri Lanka tour will be an important one for Kuldeep as the spinner has to prove his worth to secure a place in India's T20 World Cup squad.

"I am actually very happy with the way the selection has been made. It is nice to see that Kuldeep Yadav has been brought back. In the last year or in a couple of years, he lost his place. In the Indian white ball team, there was a time he was a game-changer along with (Yuzvendra) Chahal. It is nice that the selectors have given him the opportunity to stake his claim, because he hardly plays for IPL. He has a chance and he will have to compete for a place in that Indian T20 World Cup side. He has to prove that he can be a better option," added Manjrekar.

India and Sri Lanka are set to face off in three One-Day Internationals (ODIs) and three T20Is, starting July 13. All the matches will be played at the R.Premadasa Stadium, Colombo.

India have sent a second-string side, led by Shikhar Dhawan, to Sri Lanka as the full strength Team India is currently in the UK for the five-match Test series against England.

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