News Analysis

'They know how to work around techniques not suited to English conditions'

Sanjay Manjrekar analyses the strengths and weaknesses of India's top-order contenders touring England

Sanjay Manjrekar
Sanjay Manjrekar
In spite of not having a sound technique, Shikhar Dhawan has shown some discipline with the way he batted in New Zealand. Avoiding driving the ball early on and being cautious while playing the short ball will work well for him in England.
When M Vijay plays Test cricket, he becomes more of a defensive opening batsman, which helped him succeed to an extent in South Africa. The willingness to leave balls alone outside the off stump has been serving him well. His front-foot movement is circumspect, but avoiding playing the ball on the up at the start of his innings should help him notch a couple of substantial innings on the tour.
Making a comeback is never easy, but Gautam Gambhir can take heart from the fact that he's got hard-earned runs on overseas tours. Judging the length accurately to leave balls outside the off stump well should help him preserve his wicket and gain confidence as his innings progresses. With his experience as an opener and ability to play spin well, he could get a look-in in the middle order if circumstances prevail.
Decisive footwork, playing the ball with soft hands, and tremendous concentration levels have helped shaped Cheteshwar Pujara's career thus far. Lack of pace in English conditions could hamper his ability to rotate strike, which he should look to improve upon. With no glaring weakness in technique and a huge appetite for runs, there is no reason why Pujara should not succeed in England.

Former India batsman Sanjay Manjrekar is a cricket commentator and presenter on TV. @sanjaymanjrekar