Former India pacer Ashish Nehra is hoping for Rohit Sharma to have a successful series against England, starting Wednesday at Trent Bridge. He underlined that if the opener provides a solid start at the top, that would set the foundation for a big score for the middle-order batters.
It would be a new challenge for Sharma though. He has only once opened in a Test in England – during the WTC final in June against New Zealand when he scored 34 and 30. Once again Sharma was guilty of not converting his start into a big score.
“I really hope Rohit Sharma has a good England tour. If he has a good tour, then we as a team, our chances will be much better. If you can start well, it will keep a strong foundation,” Ashish Nehra said in an interaction with broadcaster Sony Networks.
I would rather go in with KL Rahul as an opener: Ashish Nehra
However, Sharma’s task is cut out, for he would be needed to take more responsibility in absence of Shubman Gill and Mayank Agarwal at the other end. Gill had already been ruled out the entire series and is back in India, while Agarwal is ruled out of the first Test due to a concussion sustained in a net session two days before the match.
Other options for the visitors are KL Rahul, who hasn’t played a Test match for 2 years, Abhimanyu Easwaran, the uncapped Bengal opener. Hanuma Vihari and Cheteshwar Pujara could also be thought of as opening partners for Sharma.
Ashish Nehra, though, said KL Rahul would be his preferred choice to open at Trent Bridge, despite the right-hander being made ready for a middle-order role – he struck a hundred in the warm-up match while batting at number 5.
“The team management earlier said that we are looking at KL Rahul in the middle order. But see, I have seen KL Rahul as an opener in white-ball format. Before Hanuma Vihari, why not KL Rahul? Although I already feel that we have too many people floating around the opening slot, I hope Rohit plays all Tests. If I had to take chance, I would rather go in with KL Rahul as an opener,” the 2011 World Cup-winning seamer contended.