Wasim Jaffer names opener pick if India drop Mayank for 2nd Test vs New Zealand
- Virat Kohli is set to return for the 2nd Test in Mumbai
- Ajinkya Rahane and Mayank Agarwal are among the frontrunners to be dropped
- The 2nd Test will be played from December 3-7
Weighing in on the debate, former batsman Wasim Jaffer agreed with the two choices for the axing, saying it has to be one of Rahane or Agarwal who need to be benched.
He further said that if the management decided to drop the Karnataka batsman from the XI, wicketkeeper-batsman Wriddhiman Saha should partner Shubman Gill at the top of the order.
“It's a toss-up between Mayank Agarwal and Ajinkya Rahane. I would think on those two. That's the toss-up that Virat Kohli has to make,” Jaffer said during a discussion on ESPNcricinfo.
“Whether he wants to go with Mayank Agarwal and give him another go or whether (he thinks) Ajinkya Rahane hasn't got enough runs in the last 10-12 Test matches after that Melbourne Test so he goes out. It's a tough call, definitely a tough call. It depends on whom the sword falls on.”
“I think I will open with Saha if at all Mayank Agarwal goes out because then everybody bats out of their position. Pujara will open and then Ajinkya Rahane will bat at some other position. If Saha opens then everyone bats at the same position,” Jaffer said.
He further said that his suggestion was only a short-term fix for India, and that it can be implemented in home conditions.
India are scheduled to leave for South Africa immediately after the conclusion of the second Test against the Kiwis. The Proteas will host India for a three-match Test and ODI series, as well as a four-match T20I series.
However, there are concerns surrounding the tour given the emergence of the Omicron variant of the coronavirus in South Africa.