Rohit Sharma to be rested: If reports are to be believed, the Indian vice-captain might be rested for the upcoming ODI series against Australia.
Having defeated Australia (2-1) and New Zealand (4-1) comprehensively in ODIs in their own backyard, the Indian team will now be looking ahead to their next challenge. In what will be India’s last international assignment before the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019, India will host Australia for two T20Is and five ODIs.
In a bid to zero in on the best possible squad, India have experimented a lot with their ODI squad in the recent past. The Australia series undoubtedly gives them a chance to play their best set of players together before the World Cup.
However, it might not be the case for there are murmurs of the selectors continuing to test their bench strength. Rohit Sharma, who recently led the team in Virat Kohli’s absence against New Zealand, is expected to be rested this time.
ROHIT Sharma and VIRAT #Kohli – two of India’s most prolific batsmen. One is the highest run-scorer in T20I cricket, while the other is hailed as the world’s best cricketer. But as far as T20Is are concerned, who’s the better batsman? Let’s discuss that in today’s #AakashVani. pic.twitter.com/QJ0GsyEfOP
— Aakash Chopra (@cricketaakash) February 12, 2019
— Indian Cricket Army (@IndianCricketA2) February 12, 2019
Rohit Sharma to be rested
If reports in The Hindu are to be believed, Sharma will be replaced by Ajinkya Rahane and Lokesh Rahul in the squad. The five-match series might well be a golden chance for one out of Rahane and Rahul to book their berth for the England trip.
Rahane last played for India in ODIs during India’s tour of South Africa last year. In 90 ODIs, he has scored 2,962 runs at an average of 35.26 and a strike rate of 78.63. In a recent interview with ESPNcricinfo, chief selector MSK Prasad disclosed that Rahane still remains in contention for the world event.
“I was a bit concerned [about Rahane’s form] during the England Test series, but he did well in Australia. Even in domestic cricket, he has been in form. He is very much in contention for the World Cup. What I mean to say is, he has not been ruled out. We want to see how he does in the near future,” Prasad was quoted as saying.
— Kedarnath Kamath (@Kedar024) February 12, 2019
Rahane yet again falls for spin
Gone for 13 #iranicup
— Ashok Jammy (@AshokJammy_) February 12, 2019
In the same interview, Prasad admitted being concerned about Rahul’s form but didn’t rule him out of World Cup contention either. Rahul last played for India in ODIs against Afghanistan during the Asia Cup in September. In the inconsistent opportunities (13 ODIs since his debut in June 2016) which he has got in the format, he has scored 317 runs at an average of 35.22 and a strike rate of 80.66.
While there has been no official update regarding the squad announcement for Australia series, it is expected to be announced soon for the first T20I is scheduled to be played on February 24 at Visakhapatnam.