Move Over Rohit Sharma, Former Wicket-Keeper Nayan Mongia Wants Abhimanyu Easwaran, Priyak Panchal as Test Openers
Following a continued dismal run of KL Rahul at the top of the order in red-ball cricket, the selectors have finally decided to move over him and try new combinations. After widespread demands were raised to try Rohit Sharma at the top, MSK Prasad felt the same and the selected the vice-captain in limited-overs as an opener for India's next Test series against South Africa.
Former cricketers like Sourav Ganguly, VVS Laxman and Gautam Gambhir were the most vocal supporters of Sharma being promoted up the order. After he was finally picked, mandy thought the long-standing debate about India's perfect opening pair would finally come to an end.
But that was not to be as another former Indian cricketer has raised his views and thrown two fresh names in the debate. Nayan Mongia believes young cricketers Abhimanyu Easwaran and Priyak Panchal should be given chance ahead of Sharma, keeping in mind the future requirements.
Speaking to a leading daily, the former wicket-keeper believes both the players have been constantly performing well at that position in domestic cricket and should be given a fair amount of chance in the national team. Both the batsmen have scored around 800-1000 runs in the last domestic season with an average between 50 t0 60 and according to Mongia, it would be unfair and demotivating if they are not selected now.
Given the stats of both the players, Mongia doesn't seem to be wrong anywhere. 24-year-old Easwaran, who plays for Bengal in the domestic circuit, has piled up more than 4000 runs at an average of above 50. He has been equally impressive in the 50-overs cricket for his 2365 runs at an average of more than 50.
Panchal, on the other hand, is more experienced and has been playing domestic cricket since 2008. The 29-year-old has scored more than 6000 runs in domestic cricket at an impressive average of 48. In his List A career, he has managed above 2200 runs at an average of almost 40.
Also, to support his case for why he wouldn't have Sharma opening for India, Mongia said, "Opening is a specialized job, like 'keeping. He's been opening in limited-overs cricket, but Test cricket requires a massive adjustment in mindset. He must stick to his strengths, rather than change his game according to Test cricket. If he does that, it may affect his limited-overs game.