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08 February, 2021

5 Reasons India May Want To Promote Sundar Ahead Of Kohli, Rahane To Win Or Save Test



Can India script another awe-inspiring, record-breaking feat by achieving the target of 381 in 90 overs with the help of nine wickets?

There's been considerable discussion over both, England and India's intent after tea on the fourth day of this opening Test.

The conversation often turned turned into a tug of war over which among the two teams were showing lack of intent to win.

Those on the side of the Englishmen felt India were slowing the pace of the game with too much time wasted in between overs. The ones in support of India felt England should have declared by tea or at least after reaching 400. Or that England are fearful of the fact that India have a batting depth that can scale even a huge total of 400.

All this on a pitch that's deteriorating!

The highest total ever chased by a team batting fourth is 418.

India have knocked off 39 from their total chase target of 420, with the loss of Hitman Rohit Sharma's wicket.

India can score 4.23 runs an over and get those 381 runs on Tuesday, the final day or save the Test. 

They may want to promote rookie allrounder Washington Sundar and explosive wicket keeper batsman Rishabh Pant in the batting order ahead of skipper Virat Kohli and vice captain Ajinkya Rahane.

In fact, India should have sent Sundar to open the innings with another Young India warrior, Shubman Gill.

Here are 5 reasons why India may want to promote Sundar in the batting order:

1. He is the best at the moment: You may have heard former cricket greats such as legend Sunil Gavaskar advocating during commentary that a team needs to bring on their best bowlers to bowl when the opposition is going strong and when the fielding team needs a wicket badly.

Similarly in batting. At this moment, Sundar is the best batsman India have. He remained unbeaten at 85 in the first innings. He faced England's pace spearhead Jimmy Anderson and Jofra Archer superbly. He negotiated the second new ball well. He played England's spinners, trying to exploit the footholes and rough, with aplomb.

Sundar, along with Gill and Pant are the only three batsmen who have shown the Character, Intent and Attitude needed to win a Test against a better side. 

2. He has scored a hundred on this ground: Sundar knows the Chepauk well. It's his home ground. And it's here that he has scored a century for his state team, Tamil Nadu.

He scored that hundred as an opener. His unbeaten 84 on Monday as well as his brilliant batting in India's Brisbane victory should be proof enough for coach Ravi Shastri, batting coach Vikram Rathour and captain Kohli to back Sundar irrespective of the outcome.

3. Gill or Pujara need able company: It's a no brainer in a Test match that any top order batsman looks for an able ally at the other end to take the fortunes of their team forward.

Both, Gill and Pujara are in form and you'd want them to bat together until one of them departs. Whomever between the two is survives at the crease, will need solid support from the other end.

Both Kohli and Rahane do not seem to be in sublime form. It may be prudent for the team thinktank to promote Sundar and offer that solidity.

4. He'll be good to unsettle the English attack: Unlike Kohli and Rahane, Sundar bats left handed and bowls right handed.

As a left handed bat, he'll provide the ideal combination for Pujara or Gill in unsettling the opposition attack and fielding.

Very often, fielding teams feel frustrated when they are forced to be on the move constantly as per requirements of a right handed and left handed batting combination.

And when this pair steal singles and rotate strike, it also upsets the rhythm of the bowlers.

5. He deserves a Test century: Sundar deserved a wicket when  England batted first, only to be deprived of one as Rohit Sharma spilled an easy catch.

Similarly, he deserves a century after running out partners when India resumed batting on Monday. It'll anyway help India's cause.




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