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Thursday, Oct 17, 2019

‘Opening is a specialized job’ - Former Indian cricketer questions move to try Rohit Sharma as opener in Tests

Chairman of selectors MSK Prasad made it clear that they were looking at Rohit Sharma as a specialist opener in Test cricket and that they were willing to give him a longer rope to be established in the role.

cricket Updated: Sep 17, 2019 08:22 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
File image of Rohit Sharma
File image of Rohit Sharma(Getty Images)
         

When India’s squad for the Test series against South Africa was announced, chairman of selectors MSK Prasad made it clear that they were looking at Rohit Sharma as a specialist opener in Test cricket and that they were willing to give him a longer rope to be established in the role. Rohit has also found support from Sourav Ganguly and VVS Laxman, but according to former Indian wicket-keeper batsman Nayan Mongia, who himself was used as a makeshift opener in Test cricket, this new proposal might not be too successful.

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“Opening is a specialized job, like ‘keeping. He’s been opening in limited-overs cricket, but Test cricket requires a massive adjustment in mindset. Unless, of course, he decides to stick to what he does in limited-overs cricket - go for the ball. He must stick to his strengths, rather than change his game according to Test cricket. If he does that, it may affect his limited-overs game,” Mongia told Times of India.

“Why not give chances to those who’ve scored 1,000-800 runs in a season as an opener? The likes of Panchal and Easwaran are averaging 50-60 in domestic cricket. When are they going to get a chance? It’s demotivating for them,” he further added.

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The right-hander has not managed to nail down his spot in the longest format - in 27 Tests, he has scored 1,585 runs at an average of 39.62 with three hundreds and 10 fifties.

With KL Rahul struggling to get going at the top of the order, the selectors are now willing to try Rohit in a bid to solve the long-standing woes of openers in Test cricket. India will take on South Africa in a 3-match Test series. Currently, they are ranked number 1 on the World Test Championship points table with 120 points.

First Published: Sep 16, 2019 10:24 IST

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