‘A Strong Case for Sarfaraz and an Exciting Investment in Jurel’: Manjrekar Backs Indian Youngsters Ahead of Rajkot Test

Sarfaraz Khan (L) Dhruv Jurel (R) (Image: AFP)

Sarfaraz Khan (L) Dhruv Jurel (R) (Image: AFP)

Former Indian cricketer, Sanjay Manjrekar has backed Sarfaraz Khan to get the nod in for the third Test and also believes that Dhruv Jurel is an exciting investment for the side’s wicketkeeping dilemma.

Ahead of the third Test between India and England at Rajkot, uncertainty remains regarding whom India would pick to bat in the middle order with KL Rahul ruled out of the match along with the absence of Virat Kohli. Former Indian cricketer, Sanjay Manjrekar has backed the young duo of Sarfaraz Khan and Dhruv Jurel ahead of the big fixture.

Speaking to ESPNCricinfo, the former Indian cricketer believes that the quality is there for the Indian team with Sarfaraz Khan having a brilliant record in the first-class format. The Mumbai-based batter has racked up 3912 runs in just 66 innings and averages 69.85. This also includes 14 centuries and 11 fifties to his name. He had also performed well for the India A side when they took on the England Lions where he amassed scores of 96, 4, 55 and 161.

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Manjrekar commented, “Yes, inexperienced batting lineup, but I think the quality that’s needed in this particular series are just Indian batters who play spin well. There’s where you think Sarfaraz Khan suddenly makes his case very strong. I would want Rajat Patidar as the incumbent to take that place at No. 4 and then have Sarfaraz Khan coming at No. 5 only on the basis that he was in the queue before.”

The former Indian international thinks that Sarfaraz’s form in the long-run playing in the first-class format should warrant his selection ahead of Devdutt Padikkal who has been brought into the side in place of KL Rahul who was ruled out of the third Test.

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“The form that he’s had over the long term should count for something and have more weightage than Devdutt Padikkal, who had a great run of late. Enough indication that Sarfaraz Khan would be an interesting batter for India to have to challenge the English spinners. The better player of spin plays. I don’t think Padikkal being a left-hander will just further his case because India have Jadeja, Axar Patel, and Yashasvi Jaiswal,” Manjrekar added.

Sanjay Manjrekar also shared his two cents on the ongoing dilemma regarding India’s wicketkeeping slot. He suggested that India should go ahead and give Dhruv Jurel a go with KS Bharat’s performance with the bat under fire and the unavailability of Rishabh Pant and Ishan Kishan

Manjrekar mentioned, “I think so (India should bring in Dhruv Jurel)… but I believe that it’s a very short-term sort of role that has to be filled before Rishabh Pant comes in and takes his rightful place. So, it’s a great time to look at another option.”

Manjrekar sees Jurel as a more exciting option for India given that he has had performances for Uttar Pradesh in the first-class format and the IPL playing for the Rajasthan Royals.

“You’ve seen enough of KS Bharat now to see what he’s all about and what’s the return you get from investing in him. I find Dhruv Jurel a more exciting investment at this stage,” Manjrekar concluded.

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