The team management’s aggression mantra came back to bite them in Galle after ultra-defensive batting in the second innings led to defeat in four days. Rohit Sharma, anointed the attacking option, was found wanting at No 3.
After Rohit’s switch of batting slots with Ajinkya Rahane clicked at the P Sara Oval, with Rohit too scoring a half-century, skipper Virat Kohli now believes flexibility will be key going forward.
There were questions about whether Cheteshwar Pujara should have replaced Rohit for the second Test, but Rahane’s century at No 3 has turned focus off that. With both Murali Vijay and Shikhar Dhawan out due to injury, Kohli announced Pujara will open in the final Test.
Pujara, who had lost his spot after struggling in England and Australia, has opened in three of his 27 Tests, scoring two fifties, both in the win over Australia in Delhi in early 2013. Even if he does well, he may have to make way when Vijay and Dhawan return for the home series against SA.
Kohli defended the Rahane-Rohit batting switch, saying that only winning mattered and not individuals. “We have communicated this before that no one is playing in this team for personal glory or achievements.”