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Tuesday, Sep 17, 2019

India vs South Africa: He is world class, no reason why he cannot succeed as opener - Adam Gilchrist names pick for India Test opener

After KL Rahul’s failure to find any consistency at the top of the order, the Indian selectors have also hinted at a change

cricket Updated: Sep 12, 2019 14:03 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
File image of Adam Gilchrist
File image of Adam Gilchrist(Getty Images)

Former Australian wicket-keeper Adam Gilchrist has endorsed Rohit Sharma to be successful as an opener even in Test cricket. After KL Rahul’s failure to find any consistency at the top of the order, the Indian selectors have also hinted at a change and Rohit’s name has found a lot of backing in the recent days.

“There is no reason why Rohit Sharma cannot be successful in Test cricket. In India, most definitely he can play as an opener. There might be more challenging times abroad in South Africa, England and Australia,” said Gilchrist, responding to questions on selection committee chairman MSK Prasad’s view that Rohit could be tried as an opener in the longer format.

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Gilchrist, who has played with Rohit in Deccan Chargers, said that the right-hander is extremely serious and takes his practice very seriously. Also, if he is ready to take up the challenge up the order, there is no reason why the selectors should not try him as an opener even in the longest format.

“I have played with Rohit, in IPL. Rohit deceives people in that they feel he is not working hard enough because he is such a laidback guy, but it means just as much to him as it does to anyone else. Rohit is world class. If he wants to take on the challenge at the top of the order, there is no reason why it wouldn’t work. But it would take a change in his mindset, in his batting approach, particularly overseas. In India, it is suited to him. He’s got to want to do it, no one should force him,” Gilchrist further added.

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Bengal opener Abhimanyu Easwaran, a prolific performer at the domestic and India A games, could be rewarded with a place in the side as a reserve opener, if the selection committee decides to drop Rahul.

The other openers in fray are Priyank Panchal of Gujarat and Shubman Gill of Punjab.

Rahul, considered a favourite of this team management, has scored 664 runs in his last 30 Test innings, with his only notable score -- 149 against England at the Oval last year --, coming in a dead fifth rubber.

(With agency inputs)

First Published: Sep 12, 2019 13:03 IST