The Indian Test team’s batting lineup is based on the foundation laid by the three pillars in the middle order, namely, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli, and Ajinkya Rahane.
The number three, four and five has been constant in the ever-changing Indian lineups. However, the Indian cricket team’s tale in the white-ball cricket has been entirely different.
The Men in Blue boasts a top-heavy lineup in the form of Shikhar Dhawan, Rohit Sharma, and captain Kohli.
The famous top-three of the Indian team has been so formidable that the middle-order hardly gets to bat, resulting in its brittleness, which has been found out by quality teams.
Moreover, the likes of Shreyas Iyer and KL Rahul, following a successful series against Australia and New Zealand have staked their claims for the middle-order in the limited-overs format.
Cricketer-turned-commentator, Sanjay Manjrekar, recently answered the calls of Rahul replacing Rahane for the number five position even in Test cricket.
According to Manjrekar, Rahane’s form has been quite rusty, frequently ‘on and off’, with sporadic patches of brilliance.
“KL Rahul has been brilliant at number five. Yes granted, Rahane doesn’t look the same player he was in the first two years of his Test career, and I would like to see that kind of form coming back,” Manjrekar said in his YouTube channel.
“It (Rahane’s form) comes in little spurts, sometimes, but not as consistently as he would like. But based on his runs that he has got, I don’t think it is right to think of Rahul at number five in Test matches,” added the former Mumbai cricketer.
Rahul made a mark in Test cricket earlier at the opening slot, narrowly missing out on his double-ton against England at Chennai in 2016.
The Karnataka stalwart lost his place to fellow state teammate Mayank Agarwal and white-ball champion Rohit Sharma.
“The last time he (Rahul) played Test cricket, he wasn’t that impressive and let’s not get too carried away with a batsman getting runs in T20 and 50 overs cricket and push into Test match cricket. So, (for) KL Rahul to nudge the Indian batsman at the test level in the middle-order, he will have to get a truckload of runs at the domestic level, just like (Mayank) Agarwal did to get in the Indian team,” concluded Manjrekar.