Former India opener Gautam Gambhir has asked for a long rope for Rohit Sharma as Test opener and has said that it will be disastrous if his position is shuffled after just one series.
“It is a fantastic opportunity for Rohit Sharma to announce himself as a Test opening batsman. I am not looking too deep into his two-ball duck in the practice game. Besides, it will be disastrous to shuffle around Rohit if he doesn’t succeed in this series,” he wrote in his column for The Times of India.
For the first time in his Test career, Rohit is set to open the innings in Test cricket. He has also been backed by team management to do the job but keeping in mind India‘s policy of chopping and changing on a regular basis, Rohit’s opening spot could be in danger should he not do well in the series.
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As for now, he looks set to be given three Tests to prove himself. Mayank Agarwal will also be given his chances, which will mean that Shubman Gill, the reserve opener in the team, will have to wait for his chance.
Rohit, who has created oodles of records in white-ball cricket since being asked to open the innings, has been successful in for India. Though in Tests his numbers aren’t that impressive. In 27 Tests, he has scored 1585 runs at 39.62 with three centuries.
He was given preference over Hanuma Vihari in Australia but in West Indies, the Hyderabd-batsman pipped him for a place in the playing XI. The deicison to keep him out was criticised, especially after he had scored five centuries in World Cup 2019.
The poor performances from the openers saw India drop KL Rahul and name Rohit as the opener. If he succeeds as an opener, he will keep his place for long and could be key for team India during the ICC Test championship.
After South Africa, India will play Bangladesh and will travel to NewZealand next year.
While India have confirmed promotion for Rohit, it was also confirmed that Wriddhiman Saha will be returning into playing XI after 20 months. He will be replacing Rishabh Pant. His wicketkeeping skills are too good to be ignored and Rishabh will now have to wait for his chances in red-ball cricket.
Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja are two spinners in the playing XI, which means Kuldeep Yadav will sit out.