Rohit Sharma made his comeback to the Indian Test team after having missed out on the last four overseas Tests that the Men in Blue played in New Zealand and Australia last year due to injury. But the swashbuckler made a return to the Test set-up at the expense of his former opening partner Mayank Agarwal, who has been dropped after a couple of tough outings in Adelaide and Melbourne, a decision that hasn’t gone down well with fans as well as pundits including former cricketer Sanjay Manjrekar.
The former Indian cricketer has slammed the team-management for their lack of patience when it comes to openers in the longest format of the game.
Speaking on the pre-match show on Sony Sports, Manjrekar cast doubts on Sharma’s credentials as a Test opener in overseas conditions. Rohit Sharma, who made his debut as a Test opener during the 2019 home season against South Africa, will open the innings for India for the first time in overseas conditions, having batted in the middle-order in the past trips.
Manjrekar stated that if he was tasked with the decision-making, he would have dropped Hanuma Vihari and slotted Shubman Gill in the middle-order.
“Rohit Sharma does not have bad numbers at the No.6 position, where he has played 25 innings. But his recent exposure in Test matches has been as an opener and there he has a very good average,” Sanjay Manjrekar said.
“But he has never opened in overseas conditions. He was not there in New Zealand and last time when he was here in Australia, he was playing down the order. So, it will have to be seen how he plays against the swinging ball,” he added.
“But the person they have dropped, it has again become a tactic of rejecting players and not selecting. If it was upto me, I would have kept Mayank Agarwal in the team because he is a young player, has been in good form. I would have kept Shubman Gill down the order with Rohit Sharma as an opener,” he added.
Mayank Agarwal, who currently averages 47.85 in Test cricket, managed just 31 runs across four innings in Adelaide and Melbourne while Shubman Gill impressed on debut, scoring 80 runs across two innings.