Rohit Sharma as Test opener: The senior Indian batsman is likely of receiving a promotion in India’s Test batting order.
The absence of successful spin-pair of Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal from India’s squad for South Africa T20Is had caused a lot of speculations regarding the two spinners’ future. The duo wasn’t a part of the T20I series for the tour of West Indies.
Speaking in an exclusive interview with India Today, India chief selector MSK Prasad has explained the rationale behind benching Yadav and Chahal in two consecutive series.
“In order to bring variety in the spin bowling department, we have been trying youngsters keeping in view of the T20 World Cup in Australia [in 2020]. [Yuzvendra] Chahal and Kuldeep [Yadav] have been outstanding performers in the shorter formats in the last two years. They are definitely ahead in the race now. It’s just that we are trying few other options now,” Prasad was quoted as saying.
Rohit Sharma as Test opener
India vice-captain and star opening batsman in limited-overs cricket Rohit Sharma might be reliving the mantra to his limited-overs success in cricket’s ancestral format as well. Originally a middle-order batsman, it was back in 2013 that Sharma was made to open the innings by former India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni.
Since opening the batting, Sharma’s ODI average and strike rate rose from 30.43 and 77.93 to 57.42 and 92 respectively. From two centuries in 86 ODIs to 25 in 134 ODIs, the right-hand batsman 32-year old batsman has come a long way since becoming an opener.
With Test opening batsman Lokesh Rahul struggling with form in cricket’s ancestral format, chief selector MSK Prasad has hinted that Sharma might be included as an opening batsman in Tests as well.
“As selection committee we haven’t met after the conclusion of the West Indies tour. We will definitely take this [Rohit Sharma as opener] point into consideration when we all meet and discuss about it.
India’s champions of the past pushing for Rohit Sharma to open in Test #cricket. But are they missing something? Abhimanyu Easwaran and Priyank Panchal are breaking down the selection door for Test opener’s slot with tons of runs! Maybe champs don’t watch domestic and A cricket!
— Chandresh Narayanan (@chand2579) September 6, 2019
“KL [Rahul] is definitely a great talent. Of course, he is going through a bit tough time in Test cricket. We are definitely concerned about his form. He needs to spend more time on the wicket and regain his touch and form,” Prasad was quoted as saying.