The opening day of the 500th Test between India and New Zealand at the Green Park stadium in Kanpur witnessed some riveting action, with the hosts holding the upper hand early and then the visitors came back later into the day to knock over the lower-order batsman and leave India placed at 291 for 9 in 90 overs.
Apart from the contribution of Murali Vijay and Chesteshwar Pujara, the third talking point of the day was another non-conversion of a good start from Rohit Sharma, who fell for 35, caught a mid-on off the bowling of Mitchell Santner.
The Mumbaikar is now yet to register a fifty in 9 consecutive innings, and last time, reached the landmark in Sri Lanka last year, where he made twin fifties in the last game that helped India win the game and record a historic Test series win in the Emerald Island after 22 years.
Since then,however, Rohit has found the going very tough in Test cricket and has been constantly under the gun from various quarters for his careless manner of dismissals after having started off well.
His teammate, Vijay,however, feels that when an expansive shot from Rohit does not come good, it makes him look silly and when it does, it fetches him appreciation. He also added that despite the end result, one needed to have trust in Rohit’s instincts.
“That’s his area.When it comes out good, it looks good. When it doesn’t, you fall on the wrong side. We still have got to back our instincts.” Vijay said, referring to his teammate.
The question to ask now is how long with Virat Kohli and Anil Kumble be willing to persist with the inconsistency of the Mumbaikar? There may arise a situation where India might be needing 60 runs to win withRohit and the lower-order for company.
In that scenario, can we expect Rohit to come good if he continues to fail to show the application that one needs in Test cricket?
There many also be a case when India might be playing to save a Test match and patience will be needed to ensure India don’t lose the game.
On Thursday, the Kiwi bowlers tired Rohit down by maintaining a tight line to him and eventually forced him to go for the big shot that led to his downfall. With another innings to go in Kanpur and 23 more to go in the remainder of the season, the Mumbaikar needs to get his act right soon enough in order to harbour any hopes of playing a majority of the upcoming home season.