Ramiz Raja has cast his vote of approval for the Indian opening pair and observed that Rohit Sharma can play a substantial knock if he gets going.
Rohit Sharma and Shubman Gill are likely to open the batting for Team India in the World Test Championship (WTC) final against New Zealand, to be played at the Ageas Bowl in Southampton from June 18. India will play 6 Tests, including the World Test Championship final against the Kiwis in the UK in the forthcoming months.
Ramiz Raja: Rohit Sharma Can Score 200 If He Fires
During a discussion on India News, former Pakistan cricketer turned commentator Ramiz Raja replied in the negative when asked if it is a risky proposition for India to open with two attacking batsmen. Ramiz Raja added Rohit Sharma could play a match-defining knock if he gets settled at the crease.
“It is not risky. If you have an opening pair like that, you need to back them. Rohit Sharma will give you a double hundred if he fires,” said Ramiz Raja.
Rohit Sharma has amassed 1030 runs at an outstanding average of 64.38 in the eleven Tests he has opened for Team India. This includes a double ton against South Africa and three other centuries.
Ramiz Raja: Indian Openers Rohit Sharma And Shubman Gill Needs To Play With An Aggressive Intent
Ramiz Raja pointed out that Rohit Sharma and Shubman Gill do not need to temper their aggression.
“You don’t have to think much, you just have to go there and play your game. It is very important to be aggressive. The Indian batsmen base their attack on that because their thinking is aggressive,” observed Ramiz Raja.
The 21-year-old Punjab batsman Shubman Gill has recorded scores of 29, 50, 0, 14, 11, 15*, and 0 in the England series managing a mere 119 runs averaging 19.83. Shubman Gill might be feeling the pressure of expectations right after his breakout series in Australia where he was India’s fourth-highest scorer after making his debut in the Boxing Day Test in Melbourne last December. He scored 259 runs averaging 51.8 in 3 Tests against Australia.
While acknowledging that the Indian openers might have to be a little circumspect early in their innings, the former Pakistan cricketer signed off by stating that they just need to play as per the merit of each delivery.
“If it is a half-volley, you need to drive that whether you are playing in England or India. Yes, you have to play with soft hands for the first half an hour but after that once you have settled, the basic principles of batting have not changed in the last 100 years,” concluded Raja.
While Rohit Sharma has excelled as a Test batsman since being promoted at the top of the order, a majority of his runs have come in familiar home conditions. The seamer-friendly English conditions will certainly pose a challenge to the classy opener and he will have to be slightly watchful at the start of his innings.
Shubman Gill managed 378 runs in 7 Tests averaging 34.36 while Rohit Sharma has managed 2615 runs in 38 Tests averaging 46.7. As an opener, he managed 1030 runs averaging 64.38 with 4 tons. Rohit Sharma had aggregated 345 runs averaging 57.5 in the England series. His sublime 161-run knock had helped the hosts winning the 2nd Test at Chennai and draw level in the series.
In the Australia Test series, Rohit Sharma gave good starts for India after joining the squad for the last 2 Tests. He hit 26, 52, 44, and 7 but threw his wicket away after looking good to go big. India won the series 2-1 after coming back from behind to beat Australia at the Gabba.