The Indian Vice-Captain Rohit Sharma has made the opening position his own by being so consistent at the top of the order in the last few years. His contributions have been of the highest standard and it was evident in Worldcup 2019 where he smashed hundreds after hundreds. India will definitely need him to be fit and ready for the big tournaments as he has faced some injury issues at times.
Virat Kohli hasn’t been in his prime form in the last two years which is very unusual. But Rohit has been brilliant in his absence and looks more solid to be the number one batsman in India. Rohit’s timing has been impeccable over the years and India missed his services in test cricket by playing him in the middle order where he did not enjoy much success and couldn’t settle in.
3 Times ‘Resting’ Rohit Sharma Cost India The Match:
Australia vs India 2nd Test 2018, Perth
This was the second test match in the Australian tour of 2018 and a 13 man squad was announced before the match with R Ashwin and Rohit Sharma’ name not figuring in the squad. India won the first test at Adelaide comfortably and Australia needed a win desperately in the second test to stay in the contest. Rohit did look good in the first test batting at six and he was expected to play the second test until he was rested due to a niggle in his back.
Hanuma Vihari replaced Rohit for the second test and India lost the second Test at Perth. Rohit could have played the second test as it was only a slight niggle but India was adamant not to risk him which eventually proved costly. Rohit returned to the playing XI for the third test and there was immediate impact again as India won the third test again at the Melbourne.
India vs Australia 2nd T20I 2019, Bangalore
India lost the first T20 to Australia and the best chance to win the second T20 and level the series was to play a full-strength squad in the second T20. But it wasn’t to be as India decided to rest Rohit for the second T20 by playing Dhawan and it proved costly again as India couldn’t change their fortunes and lost the series 2-0.
Rohit Sharma has always made a big impact in every two to three matches and it was the best time to bring out the A Game from him with the series hanging in balance. His replacement for the second game Shikhar Dhawan scored a slow knock of 14 in 24 deliveries which wouldn’t have been the case if India decided not to rest Rohit. All the batsman had contributed in the second T20 while Dhawan’s performance was below par raising a lot of criticism on him.
India vs England 1st T20 2021, Ahmedabad
India decided to rest Rohit Sharma for the first T20 against England citing a long limited-overs series but it proved very costly as England cruised to victory in just 15.3 overs with 8 wickets in hand. India lost three wickets at the top every early and did not look like staging a comeback as they posted a mere total of 124. England picked up wickets at regular intervals and did not allow the Indian batsman to build partnerships.
Rohit Sharma has been in great form from the tests and he would have been very handy if India played him at the top for the likes of Shikhar Dhawan. With the T20 Worldcup coming up this year, India needs to settle their batting order soon as they have very T20 games left. Rohit’s impact was visible in the test series and he would be itching to get on the field for the next game.