India Tour of Australia: ‘He is a conformed starter,’: Sachin Tendulkar backs this Indian player as first-choice opener

Mayank, I know, is a confirmed starter because he has scored big runs and if Rohit is fit and available, then he should be there: Sachin Tendulkar

Sachin Tendulkar
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Mayank Agarwal

Former India cricketer Sachin Tendulkar backed Mayank Agarwal as his first-choice opener for the much-awaited Test series against Australia. Agarwal got picked in all three formats of the game for the first time in his career. The 29-year old had a brilliant run at the recently-concluded edition Indian Premier League in the UAE.

Mayank amassed 424 runs from 11 matches at an impressive strike rate of 156.45 while playing for Kings XI Punjab. However, he might face tough competition from the likes of KL Rahul, Shubman Gill for the opener’s spot in limited-overs.

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“Mayank, I know, is a confirmed starter because he has scored big runs and if Rohit is fit and available, then he should be there. Between other guys (Prithvi Shaw, KL Rahul), that will be the management’s decision as they would be knowing who’s the form man,” said Sachin Tendulkar in an interview with the PTI.

Virat’s absence is a big void

Virat Kohli in the Nottingham Test 2018
Virat Kohli will fly back home after the first Test

The former India opener also asserted that facing the current Australian batting lineup won’t be an easy task for Virat Kohli’s men. He said that David Warner, Steve Smith and Marnus Labuschagne would hold the key for Australia. 

He said, “Smith, (David) Warner and (Marnus) Labuschagne will be a factor. But I am confident that the Indian team will leave no stone unturned as far as preparations are concerned. These two seniors back in the team and also with Labuschagne, it makes it a much better batting unit. It will be a bit more competitive series, and I am sure India is ready for it,” said Tendulkar.

Tendulkar also mentioned that Indian skipper Virat Kohli’s absence from the upcoming tour would be a massive void. 

“Virat not being there without a doubt is a big void but also, on the other hand, the kind of bench strength that we have and the talent that is available, it is a good opportunity for somebody to establish himself,” Tendulkar said.

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