Ajinkya Rahane, Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli (Image Credit: Twitter)
Ajinkya Rahane, Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli (Image Credit: Twitter)

On Monday, India faced a huge blow for their chances to win the first Test series in South Africa as in-form opener Rohit Sharma has been ruled out for the 3-match series with a hamstring injury. Former India opener Aakash Chopra believes that this will hamper India’s chances in South Africa.

Rohit Sharma had been appointed the vice-captain of the Test side for the first time, also he was handed over ODI captaincy. While his participation in the ODI series is in doubt, it’s a huge setback for India’s chances in the Test series. He scored 906 runs in 11 Tests this year which included 368 runs in Pataudi Trophy.

The star opener joined the long list of injured players, with Ravindra Jadeja, Axar Patel and Shubman Gill already out for the test series.

Aakash Chopra
Aakash Chopra. (Photo Source: Twitter)

Former India opener and popular commentator, Aakash Chopra has raised his concerns for India’s chances in South Africa.

“Ravindra Jadeja unavailable, Axar Patel unavailable, Rahul Chahar unavailable, you don’t have Shubman Gill and now they are saying that Rohit Sharma is also not there. I mean what is happening? Should we cancel the South Africa tour?”– said the former Indian opener in his YouTube Channel.

“Rohit Sharma is going to be a huge miss. If his tour is in doubt, India’s chances are looking in doubt because who was your best Test batter in 2021. Why did you do well in England – Rohit was there with Rahul. Rohit has started loving Test cricket and he is enjoying leaving or defending,” he further added.

Rohit Sharma celebrates his century during the fourth Test against England. (Twitter/BCCI)
Rohit Sharma celebrates his century during the fourth Test against England. (Twitter/BCCI)

Also, Aakash Chopra pointed out how India kept going back to the same openers for the last couple of years. It was Prithvi Shaw and Mayank Agarwal who opened in the Pink ball Test at Adelaide, then India moved to Rohit Sharma and Shubman Gill. Then Gill got injured after the WTC final.

“There are multi-fold problems for India”- Aakash Chopra

When Mayank Agarwal was all set to open in Pataudi Trophy, he got a blow on the helmet and KL Rahul grabbed that opportunity with both hands. But right before New Zealand, KL Rahul was ruled out due to injury and the cycle is going on.

“There are multi-fold problems. Shubman Gill and Mayank Agarwal had opened just now, KL Rahul was injured. I met KL Rahul recently and he said that he will be fine. You will see Mayank Agarwal opening along with him but who will be the third opener now?

“We were saying that it has become a story of four or five openers and here Mayank Agarwal has become the second opener and KL Rahul the first. And we have reached the stage when Mayank Agarwal made his debut, in a space of few weeks. The Indian team becomes significantly weak,” Aakash Chopra further said.

However, India named Priyank Panchal as his replacement for the Test series. The seasoned opener in domestic cricket has the experience of 100 first-class matches and he has spent last month in South Africa, leading India A side.

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