Following India’s battling collapses in both innings of the Adelaide Test, MSK Prasad, the former BCCI’s chairman of selectors, wishes to see a shuffle in the middle order for the second Test against Australia at the Melbourne Cricket Ground starting December 26. With Virat Kohli on his way back home, the middle order is set to be altered, with KL Rahul likely to replace him in the Playing XI. However, Prasad reckons India will be best suited to play Rahul at No. 6 and get Hanuma Vihari to bat higher.
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“Vihari has a very sound technique and temperament and he can serve this Test team for a long time. In absence of Virat, it would be a great opportunity for him and KL (Rahul) to stand up and be counted,” Prasad told PTI.
Vihari, who made his India debut under Prasad, during the Test series against England in 2018 and hit a half-century on debut, came into the Adelaide Test on the back of a century in the pink-ball warm-up match against Australia A, but registered scores of 16 and 8 in Adelaide. In the past, Vihari has been used as an opener by India – the Boxing Day Test in 2018 – against Australia and did a commendable job seeing off the new ball.
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While Rahul has played his entire Test career for India opening the batting, feels Prasad it would not be a bad idea for the team management to push him down to No. 6, where Vihari bats.
“I would prefer Vihari batting at No. 4 or 5 in the next few Tests and face the challenge. He is a gutsy boy and I have confidence that he will do well if given the challenge. KL can be a good No. 6 in this series,” he said.