The indian cricket team is blessed with quite a few good batsmen these days. Be it Virat Kohli, Shikhar Dhawan, or Rohit Sharma, all have done justice to their batting positions by performing consistently. Yet there is some doubt, although unnecessarily, about whether they would perform well on fast and bouncy pitches of Australia. Since India v Australia 2014-15 is about to start in few days from now who should be india's opening batsmen is again a talking point.
|Murali Vijay would like to continue his good batting form|
in Australia tour.
Pitches in cricket are always over talked and this too is unnecessary since playing sport is all about overcoming the playing conditions and then performing to beat the opponent. Whenever someone says pitches in India are flat and pitches elsewhere are not so flat, it is good to know that he is just fooling around.
Coming back to opening the batting in test cricket - it is a very specialized job. Not everyone can do it since it requires better temperament, skill, technique, and ability to face the best bowlers of opposition, who would mostly bowl the initial overs, when compared to batting in the middle order.
When it comes to India's cricket team that is selected for the upcoming tour of Australia it has three qualified openers namely, Murali Vijay, Shikhar Dhawan, and a new comer KL Rahul. It is believed in indian cricket that if openers can get off to a good start half the battle is won. It is believed that it ensures a good score on the scoreboard and is key to doing well in test match cricket abroad,
The good news is that both regular openers, especially Murali Vijay, has shown exemplary temperament in recent overseas cricket tours. Not that he has scored in all the matches that he has played but he has shown a great approach towards playing the game where he wants to work hard for runs and preserve his wicket for the sake of team and not letting opposition bowlers getting a head start. Other opener Shikhar Dhawan too has also not thrown his wicket away. He has been getting out of good deliveries and getting some unfortunate decisions from the umpires recently but has looked good at the crease during his stay on the pitch. KL Rahull, who is yet to make his debut at international level, has done well at lesser level in first class cricket. He has a very good record.
But coming back to who should open batting in India's tour of Australia 2014-15, Murali Vijay and Shikhar Dhawan are the right choices. Some cricket experts are suggesting the names of Cheteshwar Pujara and Ajinkya Rahane for opening slot but both have been unimpressive thus far in alien conditions. Pujara had a miserable last couple of foreign tours while Ajinkya Rahane has always been susceptible to pace bowlers which he will be facing in plenty in Australia. People might argue and say that he has scored hundred in England recently and a good ninety odd score in South Africa but one has to remember that he was playing in middle order and got his first few runs, which are always difficult to get, against spinners and non regular bowlers. He was lucky in this sense.
In India's upcoming tour to Australia the Murali Vijay and Shikhar Dhawan should open the innings. They should be first choice openers. If they fail India can always bring change and give chance to KL Rahul. No middle order batsmen should be promoted up in the batting order to replace the openers.