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News Analysis

'Expect Kohli to get at least three hundreds'

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

Sanjay Manjrekar
Sanjay Manjrekar
One of the smartest batsmen around, a lot is riding on the very confident Virat Kohli. With no apparent weakness, he should avoid playing away from his body early on in his innings till his feet start moving well. Given the opposition bowling attack and the kind of form Kohli is in, there should be no surprises if he notches up lots of runs on the tour.
After a dream start to his Test career, Rohit Sharma has had a bit of reality check on the South Africa and New Zealand tours. Maybe he is suffering from insecurity regarding his place in the team, which have led him to misjudge length on certain occasions. Relying more on defence and rotating the strike when early on at the crease should serve him good and if he gets going, he will surely be difficult to stop.
Ajinkya Rahane shows good balance on the crease and can accelerate at will to score quick runs. Playing on the up, trying to fetch balls outside off stump with loose hands and playing across the line should be avoided to succeed. Given his appetite for big runs, if Rahane gets going early on in the series, he is bound to end up with a very successful one.
Compared to other Indian batsmen, MS Dhoni does not seem to have a problem against pace and bounce, which should work in his favour. A known weakness against the ball pitched outside the off stump could be exploited by the opposition, but if Dhoni could rattle bowlers by playing big shots early in his innings, it could get him going.

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