After yet another poor run with the bat from KL Rahul on the tour of West Indies, it is likely that the Indian selectors will take a call on him and might replace him for the upcoming Test series against South Africa. Abhimanyu Easwaran, who scored a century in the Duleep Trophy final, looks a likely candidate to take his place.
Priyank Panchal is also a strong candidate for the job but former India captain Sourav Ganguly and Gautam Gambhir recently backed Rohit Sharma to be moved in the batting order in Tests.
The experienced campaigner was in the squad for the West Indies Tests but did not get a chance. As per Ganguly and Gambhir, Rohit could be the answer to India’s opening woes but another former captain Anil Kumble does not think the same way.
As per Kumble, team India’s highest wicket-taker in Tests and ODIs, Rohit should be in the playing XI but not at the top, unless it’s a desperate situation.
“You only know when you actually do that but I am not really sure about pushing Rohit at the top unless it is a desperate situation. Yes, are we in a desperate situation where we are looking for an opener in someone who has done well at the domestic level, is it worth considering that or should Rohit, Yes, he is a high-quality player sitting on the bench, should he be pushed at the top,” he told Cricketnext.
Rohit, who made his Test debut in 2013, has never opener in the longest format of the game. But considering his past in ODIs, India can experiment with Rohit at the top in the Tests as well.
For first six years, Rohit was a middle-order batsman in ODIs but a call to make him open in 2013 did wonders and now, he is one of the best openers in ODIs and T20Is. He has three double-centuries in ODIs and four centuries in T20Is.
Whether he will move at the top of the order or not will be clear once the Indian selectors name the team for the South Africa Tests in a couple of weeks.
For now, it seems unlikely that Rohit will be asked to open. Easwaran looks a strong candidate to get a maiden Test call-up, especially after his heroics in the Duleep Trophy final in front of national selectors.
KL Rahul, who was dropped from playing XI in Australia, is highly likely to lose his place in the Test squad for the home series. Mayank Agarwal will continue to hold his opening spot.