India need openers like Abhishek Sharma, who bats at a strike rate of 150-200+: Manoj Tiwary names Rohit Sharma’s replacement

Manoj Tiwary, Abhishek Sharma, IND vs ZIM

Former Indian cricketer Manoj Tiwary has heaped praise on Indian batsman Abhishek Sharma, who recently scored a T20I century against Zimbabwe. Manoj Tiwary feels that India needs openers like Abhishek Sharma, who can score runs at a rate of 150-200 or more.

Abhishek Sharma made his international debut in the recent T20I series against Zimbabwe. The left-handed batsman smashed a century with 47 runs, 7 fours and 8 sixes. With an impressive strike rate of 212+, he hit the T20I ton in his second international game.

He got out for a four-ball duck in the first game. His century helped Team India stage a strong comeback in the match and defeat Zimbabwe in the second T20I to level the series 1-0.

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Abhishek Sharma surprised everyone: Manoj Tiwary

During a chat with Cricbuzz, former batsman Manoj Tiwary praised Abhishek Sharma for his fantastic knock in the second T20I between India and Zimbabwe. According to Tiwary, Team India needs batsmen like Abhishek Sharma, who can score runs at a rate of over 200 hits as openers.

“We see that the opening batsmen, the ones who make the jump to opening, are abroad. But he (Abhishek Sharma) has come like this and surprised everyone. And if someone is giving a start with a strike rate of over 200, what more does a team need? And this is what is needed,” said Tiwary, who is widely known for stopping the infamous Virat-Gambhir brawl in the IPL.

“Because in the coming days in this format, you need opening batsmen who can bowl at a strike rate of 150-200 and capitalise on the 6 overs fielding restriction,” he added.

Abhishek Sharma and Shubman Gill are like Yuvi’s sons: Tiwary

Interestingly, former Indian legend Yuvraj Singh has been a big supporter of Abhishek Sharma from the beginning and has also guided him on several occasions. Even Sharma considered Yuvraj as his mentor and the latter has openly supported him on social media after his brilliant defeats.

“He and Shubman Gill are like two sons of Yuvi Paji (Yuvraj Singh). We see them as his sons. Everyone wants their son to have the most skill and experience in life as a father,” the Bengal-born cricketer added.

“They share it with their son and try to prepare him. I think Abhishek Sharma and Subhman Gill have worked very hard with both of them,” the 38-year-old concluded.

India needs a strong opener to replace Rohit Sharma

Notably, following Rohit Sharma’s exit from T20Is, the selectors are looking for a similar replacement. Abhishek Sharma impressed the fans with his spectacular batting performances in the IPL 2024 for Sunrisers Hyderabad.

With his quick-fire knocks alongside partner in crime Travis Head, Sharma helped SRH reach the final against Kolkata Knight Riders. Moreover, SRH broke the record for the best ever team totals twice during the tournament with the help of the Sharma-Travis opening pair.

After his impressive batting display against Zimbabwe, he is considered a good replacement for Rohit Sharma, who recently led the Indian team to victory in the ICC T20 World Cup 2024. The next T20I World Cup will be held in India in 2026 and will be hosted by India.