Bowling coach of the Delhi domestic team, Rajkumar Sharma feels that the addition of Rohit Sharma as an opener for the third Test will help to counter-attack the Australian pacers. The Indian team has announced their playing eleven for the penultimate Test match of the series.
Rohit Sharma, who missed the first two Tests, will open in Mayank Agarwal’s spot, as confirmed by Rahane. Agarwal is axed after registering scores of 17, 9, 0, and 5. Shubman Gill retains his spot at the top after his impressive debut in Melbourne.
Australian new ball bowlers – Mitchell Starc and Pat Cummins – have troubled the Indian openers hitherto and thus Rajkumar Sharma opines that Rohit’s proclivity for hitting the pulls and cuts will be useful to take the attack to the Aussie quicks.
“It will be a great boost with the addition of Rohit Sharma as he is a great batsman. No one plays the hook or pull shot better than him in the team. He can counter-attack the Australian pacers with the new ball,” Rajkumar Sharma told ANI.
Navdeep Saini can bowl long spells: Rajkumar Sharma
The other change is the inclusion of Navdeep Saini, who will make his debut replacing the injured Umesh Yadav. Yadav limped off the field while bowling in the second innings in the previous match after injuring his calf. Rajkumar Sharma believes that Navdeep Saini’s endurance to bowl long spells is the reason he is been given the nod over Shardul Thakur and T Natarajan;
“Navdeep Saini has an edge over Shardul and Natrajan as he can bowl consistently above 140 kmph. He hits the right area and the biggest advantage of having him is that he can bowl long spells. He has done that in the past in Ranji season. I’m hopeful that he will grab the opportunity,” feels the Delhi coach.
Rajkumar, who is Virat Kohli’s childhood coach, reckons that the pitch in Sydney will suit the Indian team. The 55-year-old understands that it will be a typical SCG wicket – initially, there will be runs, and later the track will offer assistance to the spinners; on India’s previous tour Cheteshwar Pujara and Rishabh Pant notched their respective tons, and Kuldeep Yadav picked a 5-wicket haul.
“Sydney’s wicket is known to help batsmen. It is more like the Indian wicket where you can’t see extra bounce and spinners get help from the surface as the game progresses. Last time, India scored good runs there, so I think Indian batsman can score big runs if they play cautiously,” Rajkumar Sharma explained.