Sanjay Manjrekar perks up the Indian batting order.
What he said:
“Numbers 1, 2 and 3 in the batting order, in One-Day cricket in Asian batting conditions, is like travelling first class. You just get better perks.”
Sanjay Manjrekar makes it clear that most Indian pitches are so docile that batsmen at the top of the order are—for all purposes—handed free tickets to big scores.
The cricketer-turned-commentator was writing about Virat Kohli’s decision to promote Ambati Rayudu up the batting order in the second ODI against Sri Lanka at Ahmedabad. Rayudu made the best use of the conditions to notch up his maiden ODI century.
“Now it must be said here, that there was no cricketing compulsion or logic for such a move.
As we discovered later, from Kohli’s post-match views, it was a move to basically give Rayudu the pleasure of batting in the top three against a moderate bowling attack in Indian conditions.”
“I thought this was a tremendously selfless move by Kohli the captain. I have seen many stalwarts of Indian cricket who never let go of such an opportunity , an opportunity to score some easy international runs. Virat, being the kind of player that he is, it was like saying `pass’ to an international hundred.He forsook his own hundred so that Rayudu could get his first one. What that has done is, it’s lifted Rayudu’s confidence sky-high. I don’t see him as a regular No. 3 for India, but whatever position he bats in now, he will be bursting with self-confidence.That’s what a 100 does to a batsman that a 50 or a 60 never does.”
What Manjrekar really meant:
“Numbers are very important in Indian cricket especially in Indian conditions. Get your eye in and you can bully your way to a flat-track century in the blink of an eye (if you are the cashing in kind).”
What he definitely didn’t:
“I shouldn’t be saying this. I was a No.3 batsman myself.”