After the world cup heartbreak, India is on a tour of the West Indies. We are heading towards the test series format, and this is the team’s first match in the Inaugral ICC Test Championship. Once again, after the world cup debacle, the team combination was a major talking point ahead of the first test match which started on August 22nd.
After being the leading run-scorer in the world cup with five centuries, Rohit Sharma has managed to retain his place in the Test squad. However, with the likes of Mayank Agarwal, KL Rahul & Hanuma Vihari already in the team, it will be difficult for Rohit to find a spot in the playing XI.
Rohit Sharma has been in & out of the test side since making his debut in 2013. At present, the question is: Why is the best opening batsman in limited-overs cricket not getting a chance to open in the longest format of the game?
His stats suggest that he is a world-class top-order batsman. Before 2013, he had scored 1978 runs at an average of 30.43 at a strike rate of 78 in 81 innings with a couple of centuries, but after being promoted as an opener, he has been in phenomenal shape.
When the Indian team has been struggling to find the right opening combination in tests since forever, then why not give Rohit, who is our best opening batsman in the limited-overs format, a chance to open the innings in test matches as well? During the Australian tour last year, when each Indian batsman at the top was struggling, Hanuma Vihari, who is a middle-order batsman, was ‘promoted’ to open the innings along with Mayank Agarwal instead of the best possible choice, Rohit Sharma.
Rohit’s temperament & technique have always been questioned. But in reality, he is the same batsman we usually depend on when it comes to ODI cricket. One can say that he has not been backed by the team management the way he deserves. Take this for an example: he has never played three consecutive test matches during foreign tours and is always the first one to get dropped when the team loses a test match.
Batsmen like K L Rahul & Shikhar Dhawan, who have played under Rohit’s shadow in the ODIs, are usually chosen ahead of him when it comes to the longest format of the game. Let’s take the classic example of Virender Sehwag. He was also allowed to open the innings and then went on to become one of the best opening batsmen India has ever produced. If Sehwag can do it, then why can’t Rohit?
The West Indies tour is the beginning of India’s campaign in the World Test Championship and will be an opportunity for the Indian team management to give Rohit a chance (in test cricket) to reach the top of the order.
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