MSK Prasad, chairman of India’s national selection panel, has once again reiterated that the selectors are keen to try out Rohit Sharma as opener in Tests. India have struggled to find a reliable opening pair for quite some time now and the crisis has further deepened due to KL Rahul’s poor performance.
Rahul has been dropped for the upcoming home series against South Africa after the poor outings in the Caribbeans. In two Tests, Rahul failed to score a single fifty and has now paid the price. Mayank Agarwal and uncapped Shubman Gill are the only specialist openers in the squad.
Gill is unlikely to get a chance straightaway and one can say that the road has now been cleared for Rohit Sharma to open the innings. In the West Indies series, he did not play a single game as Ajinkya Rahane and Hanuma Vihari impressed in the middle-order. In his short Test career so far, Rohit has not opened the innings even once.
Just like his ODI career, Rohit started his Test career in the middle-order too. And the selectors are perhaps taking a cue from Rohit’s transformation in limited-overs cricket to promote him as an opener in Tests too. After struggling early in his limited-overs career, Rohit was asked to open the innings and he has not looked back since then.
The India star is one of the best if not the best ODI and T20I opener in the world right now. And he is likely to get the chance to replicate that form in Tests too. Speaking after announcing the squad for the South Africa series, Prasad said that the selectors want to give chance to Rohit as an opener.
Want to give Rohit Sharma an opportunity to open the innings in Tests – MSK Prasad
— BCCI (@BCCI) September 12, 2019
India, meanwhile, will play three Tests and as many T20Is against the Proteas. The T20I series will get underway on September 15 in Dharamsala.