Ahead of the first Test of the three-match home Test series against South Africa, Indian captain Virat Kohli has opened up about the playing XI. Kohli also clarified their position about Rohit Sharma as a Test opener.
This three-match Test series will begin on Wednesday (2nd October). Dr. Y. S. Rajasekhara Reddy ACA–VDCA Cricket Stadium (Vishakhapatnam) will host the opening Test of this series.
One of the crucial talking points ahead of this series is India’s opening batting. The team management is likely to continue Mayank Agarwal as the Test opener. While India have no set opening partner at present, the selectors also want to see Rohit Sharma as a Test opener.
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The right-handed batsman Rohit Sharma is the vice-captain in limited-overs cricket. Since he has taken the opening batsman role in limited-overs cricket, Rohit has performed very consistently. At present, he is the no.2-ranked ODI batsman.
However, Rohit isn’t much successful in Test cricket, who generally bats in the middle-order. But in the present crisis in the Test opening batting, the team management is ready to promote Rohit as an opener in Test cricket. Though he batted a few times at no.3 in Test career, he hasn’t played as a Test opening batsman yet.
Recently, in the three-day practice game against South Africa, Rohit Sharma led the Indian Board President’s XI. While he came to bat as an opener in that game, he scored a duck after facing just two balls.
We are in no hurry with Rohit Sharma as opener – Virat Kohli
However, the Indian team is totally supporting Rohit Sharma. Indian captain Virat Kohli has clarified that they are in no hurry with Rohit Sharma as an opener, and they are ready to give him enough time for this role.
Kohli said at the pre-match press conference, “We are in no hurry with Rohit Sharma as opener. He will be given time and space to find his rhythm and the way he wants to play at the top.”
Rohit Sharma played the last Test in last December at Melbourne.
Ravichandran Ashwin and Wriddhiman Saha are also returning to the Test squad
Kohli has also confirmed that India will start the Vishakhapatnam Test with the two spinners. Apart from the all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja, the off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin will also play in this Test match. The 33-year-old Ashwin played his last Test against Australia at Adelaide in last December.
Recently, Ravichandran Ashwin played for Nottinghamshire in the English County Championship 2019. In this county season, he shined as an all-rounder. While he played five matches in this Championship season, he scored 339 runs (average 37.66), including two half-centuries, and also took 34 wickets – second-most wicket-taker for his team in this Championship season. But his team was relegated to Division Two.
Also, Virat Kohli has clarified that Wriddhiman Saha will serve as a wicketkeeper in this Test series against South Africa.