Former India cricketer, Sanjay Manjrekar feels that there is no chance of the Indian team winning the ongoing Test match in Sydney after Rohit Sharma’s dismissal on the evening of the fourth day.
Australia set India an almost insurmountable target of 407 in the third Test match of the series at the Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG). The openers – Rohit Sharma and Shubman Gill – notched up their second 50 plus run opening stand of the match before Gill was dismissed by Josh Hazlewood.
However, the bigger blow came as 4 overs before the close of play, Rohit Sharma pulled a Pat Cummins short delivery straight to Mitchell Starc at fine leg. The opener made a patient half-century before, once again, throwing away his wicket after a solid start.
It was a very good opening partnership: Sanjay Manjrekar
Sanjay Manjrekar opined that with Rohit’s wicket the hope, even if very little, of winning the match for India has gone as Rohit could have accelerated on Day 5. The cricketer-turned-commentator reckons in Virat Kohli’s absence, extra responsibility and pressure lay on Rohit’s shoulders.
“With Rohit Sharma around, there was the slightest possibility of India getting to the target. With Virat Kohli not there, the onus was on Rohit Sharma. So that (Wicket) takes out the little hope of winning the game. If Virat Kohli were there, maybe Australians would have declared 30-40 runs later. Rohit Sharma’s dismissal takes out that glimmer of hope,” Sanjay Manjrekar told on Sony Networks.
The 55-year-old also heaped praises for India’s newest opening pair. Sharma and Gill, after their opening stand of 71 runs in the second innings, became only the third Asian opening pair to make a 50+ runs partnerships in both the innings of a Test in Australia.
The former Mumbai batsman lauded Rohit’s calm temperament – Rohit last played a Test match in November 2019 and was coming off an injury followed by a 14-day quarantine – and Gill’s solid defence and footwork.
“Yes (India has found a good opening pair in Tests), we have got two very easy on the eye-opening batsmen. Rohit Sharma showed good temperament. When the ball starts swinging in England, what he will do, we will come to that on another day.
“With Shubman Gill, we saw another trait of him, the defensive block, he can do that as well with a lot of calmness. He can be positive in defense also. It was a very good opening partnership. Unfortunately, India lost both their opening batsmen,” Sanjay Manjrekar added.