Gautam Gambhir believes that Rohit Sharma won’t face difficult challenges as a Test skipper because Virat Kohli has developed a solid bowling attack.
Team India made a return to Test cricket on Friday when the side took on Sri Lanka in the first match of the two-game series in Mohali. For India, the match remains significant for a couple of reasons – it is Virat Kohli’s 100th Test, as he becomes the twelfth Indian to reach the landmark. The game at Mohali also sees the beginning of Rohit Sharma’s tenure as India’s full-time captain in the longest format.
Gautam Gambhir: Virat Kohli Has Developed India’s Bowling Strength So It Won’t Be Difficult For Rohit Sharma
Rohit Sharma has made a splendid start to his full-time leadership role in the limited-overs, with the side registering clean-sweep series victories against New Zealand (T20Is), West Indies (ODIs and T20Is), and Sri Lanka (T20Is). The Indian opener is leading in Tests for the first time but former India opener Gautam Gambhir believes that it won’t a “big challenge” for the 34-year-old as Virat Kohli has developed Indian bowling strength.
“I don’t think so. Because it won’t be a big challenge for Rohit Sharma in red-ball cricket. If you talk about Cheteshwar Pujara and Ajinkya Rahane, you have experienced players like Hanuma Vihari and Shreyas Iyer who can replace them. Iyer had made a bright start to Test cricket,” Gambhir said on the pre-match show on Star Sports.
“When you have Ashwin, Jadeja, Shami, Bumrah, then it doesn’t get (difficult). Bowlers win you matches, batters only set the match up. Virat Kohli has developed India’s bowling strength, so I don’t think it should be difficult for Rohit Sharma in red-ball cricket.”
At the toss before the 1st Test’s Day 1, India captain Rohit Sharma announced that the team will line up with three spinners and just two pacers. Jayant Yadav joins Ravindra Jadeja and Ravichandran Ashwin in the spin department while it’s a similar-looking pace duo of Mohammad Shami and Jasprit Bumrah.
Gautam Gambhir Feels It’s Easier To Lead In Indian Conditions
Gautam Gambhir further said that it is easier to lead in India than overseas.
“In India, it’s comparatively easier. You win the toss and bat. Overseas, it gets difficult because the condition is challenging. Here, you know you can set the game if you bat first,” said the former India opener.
Earlier, India had won the toss and opted to bat in the first Test against Sri Lanka. Former captain Virat Kohli was felicitated by India’s head coach Rahul Dravid ahead of the start of the game. Virat Kohli became the 12th Indian and 71st cricketer to achieve the landmark of playing 100 Tests. The mercurial batter is playing for the first time since relinquishing the Test leadership after India’s series defeat in South Africa.
India was 109/2 at Lunch on Day 1 of the ongoing first Test against Sri Lanka at the IS Bindra PCA Stadium in Mohali. Playing in his 100th Test, Virat Kohli had joined Hanuma Vihari in the middle. The pair will look to anchor India’s innings in the second session. This comes after India opener Rohit Sharma and Mayank Agarwal were dismissed by Lahiru Kumara and Lasith Embuldeniya, respectively.