Due to the glut of opening options Manjrekar feels one of the openers in the squad will have to adjust to a middle order role in order to give Rahul his spot back
KL Rahul with Regis Chakabva poses for photos with the trophy ahead of the first one-day international match between Zimbabwe and India. Pic/ PTI
India has plenty of options at the top of the order and someone has to "sacrifice" the opener's slot for KL Rahul, who performs his best when he takes the first strike, reckons former India cricketer Sanjay Manjrekar.
Rahul made a comeback to the national team for the ODI series against Zimbabwe after recovering from a sports hernia surgery.
"Shikhar Dhawan will open. Shubman Gill and Ruturaj Gaikwad are the other guys who will be pushing KL Rahul and you know the team management has options. So, it will be about somebody making a personal sacrifice from KL Rahul's standpoint thinking from only his angle," Manjrekar told SPORTS18.
Rahul is leading the side as regular skipper Rohit Sharma has been rested for the three-match series.
"We've seen over the years that when he opens the innings, he gets a big one, when he backs down the order at 5 or 6 obviously he doesn't get that opportunity..."
In Rahul's absence, Shubman Gill flourished at the top of the order, scoring 64, 43 and 98 in the three games against West Indies in the preceeding ODI series.
Ishan Kishan too has played as an opener in white-ball cricket and had reasonable success.
"So, there's Ruturaj Gaikwad, there's Shubman Gill, there's Shikhar Dhawan, there's KL Rahul and wild cards such as Sanju Samson and Ishan Kishan opening the innings," Manjrekar said.
"So, take your pick but from KL Rahul's standpoint because he wants to be one of the integral members of the T20 World Cup, batting at the top of the order gets the time to get a feel of matches."
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