Rest Shikhar Dhawan and play KL Rahul instead against Afghanistan: Sanjay Manjrekar
KL Rahul last played an ODI against England at Lord’s this year. @ Getty

Having sealed a berth in the summit clash of the 2018 Asia Cup, India face a determined Afghanistan in their last Super Four clash at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium on Tuesday.

Afghanistan enter this tie on the back of back-to-back last-over defeats, while a confident India thrashed Bangladesh and Pakistan in their previous Super Four matches.

Former India cricketer-turned-commentator Sanjay Manjrekar feels that India should rest opening batsman Shikhar Dhawan and play KL Rahul instead. Dhawan, who scored 114, was part of a match-winning 210-run partnership with skipper Rohit Sharma against Pakistan recently. Meanwhile, Rahul last played an ODI against England at Lord’s this year where he returned without troubling the scorers.

“Rest Shikhar Dhawan and play KL Rahul instead, because you want to know what Rahul is all about. You’ve got to keep him involved. He’s a class player. Just keep him involved with this Indian cricket team,” Manjrekar told ESPNCricinfo.

“If Rahul gets a hundred, he feels good about himself the moment he gets an opportunity later. I would like to see Dhawan resting because there’s no point wanting someone to carry the form, it’s going to be of no use going forward for India, so try out the bench strength and give them opportunities.”

Manjrekar also suggests that India give ace fast bowler Jasprit Bumrah the day off and field either Khaleel Ahmed, who claimed 3-48 in India’s opening Asia Cup match against Hong Kong, or Deepak Chahar. “Bumrah should go out and either Khaleel Ahmed or a Deepak Chahar can enter, but rest Bumrah, use him judiciously,” Manjrekar added.