India are in the middle of a transition in the Test middle order following the retirements of Rahul Dravid and VVS Laxman. While Virat Kohli has gone from strength to strength, Cheteshwar Pujara eased into the No 3 slot in Tests against New Zealand.
However, K Srikkanth, the
outgoing selection committee chairman, feels Rohit Sharma has himself to blame for falling behind in the race to replace the golden generation of Indian batting.
Rohit is in the mix for limited-overs cricket but has failed to break into the Test eleven.
While big scores are the only way to force his way into the Test side, he should be aware that younger batsmen like U-19 skipper Unmukt Chand besides the likes of Ajinkya Rahane are already in the frame.
While injury and indifferent performances saw his omission for the World Cup last year, Virat Kohli made a mark in the tournament, and despite his omission after a poor start to his Test career in the Caribbean last year, he has fought to reclaim a berth and has not looked back after scoring his maiden Test century in Adelaide.
Reviewing his four years at the helm, Srikkanth was disappointed that Rohit, talked up as the most talented young batsman when he took charge in 2008, has not done justice to his talent.
In an interview to Hindustan Times, the former India opener said Rohit, part of the World Twenty20 squad in Sri Lanka, must learn from Virat on how to stay focused on the game instead of frittering away chances.
"Rohit is such a highly talented player, but he has lacked temperament," Srikkanth said.
"Only if he develops temperament…, obviously something is lacking."
On the slump in England and Australia
They were definitely the low points for us. I accepted responsibility, but we did start well in England only to let them off the hook. Nothing went right in Australia once we failed to cash in on the good position we got into in the Melbourne Test.
On BCCI and selectors not analysing the loss
The best way is to accept defeat gracefully and move on. Our response has been the rebuilding, it has started. We now have Virat Kohli and Cheteshwar Pujara, the process of getting youngsters is proving to be a positive thing.
On whether his relationship with MS Dhoni was strained
Relations with players and captain have been the same. A lot of people thought there were arguments, but in any meeting you are bound to have different points of view.
It also happened when I was captain. But that stays within the walls, and you have seen neither of us have complained. It is about staying calm and finding the right way.
On Yuvraj Singh
Everybody thought we were selecting Yuvraj out of sympathy. We wanted him badly from cricketing point of view. If he can deliver, India's winning chances will be higher.
His performance in Chennai speaks for itself. He showed the world he was a fighter on the field and now is a fighter in life too. His fitness will have to improve for one-day format and Tests, we have to wait and see.
On Rohit Sharma
Rohit is such a highly talented player, but he has lacked temperament. Only if he develops temperament…, obviously something is lacking. We (selectors) have also spoken to him, but we don't know what exactly the problem is.
He must learn from the way Virat has handled himself. You look at Virat, everybody wrote him off at one point but the way he has lifted his level when he was dropped shows his determination and temperament.
On Sachin Tendulkar
This guy has 100 international tons, he will know better (when to retire). I'm sure the day he feels that he will do it, nobody need tell him. It is better he is in the dressing room to guide youngsters.
We are unnecessarily questioning him. I'm sure he would have planned it all in the back of his mind. With two big series against England and Australia, you will see Tendulkar raise the bar against tougher opposition.
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