Team India chief selector MSK Prasad has said he is worried with KL Rahul’s poor form in Test cricket and indicated it might be time for Rohit Sharma to step up as an opener in the five-day format as well. Rohit Sharma is the most dangerous opening batsman in the shorter formats with 3 ODI double hundreds and 4 T20I hundreds to his name but is yet to seal a permanent berth in the Test team.
Rohit Sharma was part of the Test squad for the 2-match series in the West Indies but he did not get to play either game. Rohit Sharma was seen as a middle-order option but Hanuma Vihari has cemented the number 6 spot with some sensational performances in the Caribbean. It has left Rohit Sharma with the opportunity to try and fit in as an opener for India in the longer format of the game.
Back in 2013, Rohit Sharma was promoted to open the innings for India in ODIs with Shikhar Dhawan and he has not looked back since. While Hanuma Vihari has justified Virat Kohli’s decision to pick him over Rohit Sharma in the middle-order during the recent two-Test series against the West Indies, KL Rahul has only flattered to deceive, exactly the point that former captain Sourav Ganguly also made.
KL Rahul managed to score only 101 runs from 4 innings in the Test series in the West Indies and it looks like the selectors are losing patience with the opening batsman. India next play South Africa at home in a three-match T20I series, which will be followed by three Tests. The Test squad is yet to be announced and the big question is if Rohit will be tried as an opener ahead of Rahul.
The answer lies with the captain and the national selectors, who are yet to zero in on the squad for the Test series. Sourav Ganguly, VVS Laxman and former opener Gautam Gambhir have also insisted time and again that Rohit should be given a chance at the top of the order at the expense of KL Rahul. National selectors have not rejected the idea and could consider the proposition when they sit to select the Test team.
“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,” MSK Prasad told India Today in an exclusive interview.
“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,” the former wicketkeeper-batsman added.