India’s chief selector MSK Prasad has said that his selection committee will consider trying out Rohit Sharma as an opener in Test cricket. He also pointed out that KL Rahul’s form is a concern going ahead.
“As selection committee we haven’t met after the conclusion of the West Indies tour. We will definitely take this (Rohit as opener) point into consideration when we all meet and discuss about it,” Prasad told India Today.
“KL (Rahul) is definitely a great talent. Of course, he is going through a bit tough time in Test cricket. We are definitely concerned about his form. He needs to spend more time on the wicket and regain his touch and form,” he added.
Starting from Rohit, the middle-order batsman was in the Test squad for the West Indies series but was pipped by Hanuma Vihari for a place in the playing XI. With a century in the second Test, Vihari has sealed the middle-order place for now, which means that Rohit will have to sit out till the time Vihari is in the squad.
There is no vacant spot in the playing XI for now and the only place that is left is the opening spot, which could be vacated if the selectors drop KL Rahul for the home series against South Africa.
Rohit Sharma, one of the best openers in white-ball cricket, could be tried out as Test opener in the absence of KL Rahul. His case has been backed by the likes of Sourav Ganguly and Gautam Gambhir. The India squad for the South Africa Test series will confirm whether Rohit will open the innings or not.
If Rahul is selected, then it will be a clear indication that there are no such plans to open with Rohit Sharma for now.
Talking of Rahul’s form, he has been out of touch for a long time now. His poor run saw him being dropped from playing XI in Australia but he played the fourth Test after Rohit came back to India.
Rahul could have sat out of the West Indies series as well but the ban on Prithi Shaw meant he kept his place and opened with Mayank Agarwal. Rahul scored 101 runs from four innings there.
Since March 2018, Rahul has scored 548 runs in 23 innings that tells his struggles in the longest format of the game.
The selectors will have a tough choice to make when they table the meeting to select the squad for South Arica Tests. Apart from KL Rahul conundrum, the selector will also have to drop one of the pacers from the squad to trim the squad to 15.
India and South Arica play three-match Test series starting on October 2.