Former India wicketkeeper Saba Karim has opined that opener Mayank Agarwal is a suitable replacement for Cheteshwar Pujara at No.3, for the upcoming Test series against South Africa, should the management decide to drop the senior India batter.
Karim, in view of the poor form of Ajinkya Rahane and Cheteshwar Pujara, made this comment while speaking during a show on YouTube channel, Khelneeti. He added that Agarwal, who scored 150 and 62 in the first and second innings, respectively, during the second Test against New Zealand in Mumbai, is adept of playing both defensive and attacking shots.
“When a player has played domestic cricket for 4-5 years, then he knows how to counter spinners well. He can be a good option for the number 3 spot as he can deal with seamers with the new ball while also being able to attack the spinners,” said Karim.
Karim also felt that it is time to give a new set of players a go because of India's current batting woes.
“There should be stability in the top-order. If players batting at number 3,4 and 5 aren't scoring runs regularly, then the lower-order will be under pressure. If you are playing against a strong blowing attack, then they would not let you hang in there in such cases. Either you wait for your main players to come back to form or you will have to give chances to newer players. I think the time has come to give new players a chance,” Karim commented.
India and New Zealand drew the first Test in Kanpur before India cruised a massive 372-run win in the second match in Mumbai to seal the series 1-0.
Next, they will travel to South Africa for three Tests and as many ODIs, with the tour beginning on December 26.
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